This is the strength of Autechre, a duo who have been leading by example in the world of electronic music for many years now, and whose output rivals the likes of other past and present Warp record label mates – Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. Autechre occupy a space in music which seems to fill a 'third' category, namely "future fashion" – the other categories being the ones 99 per cent of other music acts fill – namely "in fashion" or "non-fashion". Autechre are making music now which people will probably get there head around in ten to twenty years time, so let's see how we can cope at the present moment.
This album, entitled "Quaristice" is rather generously filled with 20 tracks, most of which have titles that defy pronunciation. The music is concordantly difficult to explain, but of course that's the fun of being a music reviewer when faced with bands of this ilk. There is no generalising on this album, as Autechre have once again pushed their boundaries to the outer limits of what is listenable, and what we are left with are the sonic nuggets.
“Paralel Suns” is a notable moment, as it tries to recreate nature, as recreated by cyborgs. You can almost feel the fission of electronic currents as they roll in to the shore of static electricity, and out again into the ether. Some of the more rhythmical moments are harder to explain. “WNSN” for example, does little more than jumble up a host of different sounds into a sonic cacophony for me. It also fails, like some others here, to get the juices going, as musicality has been lost to studio experimentation and outright technical know-how. Thankfully there are tracks like “Tankakern” and “90101-51-1” which hit the movement nerves, reminding us of where the roots of experimental electronic music really are – the dancefloor.
As wilfully varied and fiercely experimental as it is, I can't but recommend this album; mainly down to the fact that maybe someday all music is going to be like this, and that will be down to people like Autechre showing the possibilities available. If most pop music is like fast food, three minute meals of instant satisfaction, Autechre is an all-you-can-eat buffet, so take your time and keep coming back – even when you think you've had enough, there will still be room for some more as there are more varieties of sound, rhythm and structure than would even fit on your usual takeaway menu. Gorge yourself at the electronic feast, and don't forget to thank your hosts on leaving!