Travelling the subway system in Tokyo, a feeling of strange familiarity was constantly nagging me. Stopping to browse the magazines of a station news-stand, the covers were full of English, while the contents were exclusively in Chinese characters, completely alien to me. Sharing my space in a subway car were people wearing the same brand of sneakers as me, the same kind of fashion, the same Nintendo Gameboy consoles that my little brother used to play with. Yet they were strange to me, a world apart despite inhabiting the same international community as I and sharing all the superficial characteristics that come with it.
Trying to categorise Autechre as one of many intelligent techno outfits is similar to claiming I was really no different from the other passengers of that train. Autechre is an alien in the club oriented beats community, as well as in the genre of intentionally difficult and uncommercial electronica.
Sean Booth and Rob Brown have consistently been creating a unique language of sound, made up from bits and pieces of American electro, and are now in the process of assembling words and sentences from this cryptic alphabet. Their sound is now instantly recognisable and completely independent from their earlier inspiration sources, inhabiting their own space much like Zoviet France or Nurse with Wound have done before them. Still, with an effort it can be understood, just like I could somehow relate to those Japanese people around me, and it can definitely be enjoyed.
"Confield" has hypnotising qualities, the irregularities of rhythm are in themselves regular and every sound seems painstakingly woven into the pattern. The music is definitely not for every occasion, but played loud, when I'm on my own on a relaxed summer afternoon, it seems to work a treat.