What does it sound like?:
The Rochdale Kraftwerk are back with what is essentially a new LP which lasts for a whopping 8 hours. They have form in this respect, their last traditional LP was a 2 hr double CD and since then they’ve released several hours of live sets and Elseq which comprised 5 digital only EPs comprising 4 hours of new material. The NTS Sessions were broadcast on the radio station of the same name and then immediately available to download over the past month. If you prefer a physical version there’s an 8 CD set forthcoming as well as a mammoth 12 LP Vinyl version.
So is it any good and does anyone need 8 Hours of Autechre?. Yes indeed they do and I’ve been completely immersed in this stuff and not wanting to listen to much else as it’s secrets and delights slowly reveal themselves. There are 36 tracks in total and here Autechre take advantage of their long held desire to present tracks which end when they’re naturally finished rather than when the CD or Vinyl runs out. The tracks run from a couple of minutes to the epic closing track ‘End All’ which is a colossal, hour long ambient epic slowly decaying in the style of William Basinski.
The music is quite minimalist, constructed entirely using Autechre’s own coding and programming (using Max/MSP software if you’re an IT geek) which boils down to a bunch of very precise and razor sharp set of synthesised waves, waspy lead lines, thudding baselines, beats that sound like an incredibly refined version of early electro and occasionally great shuddering choral washes or artificial bells and clangs – so you’re entirely in a world where sounds, rhythm and melody operate on a different set of rules entirely of the bands own making. On paper it should be a bit laborious and boring to listen to but I find time passes easily before I realise I’ve been listening to tiny variations on the same curious riff for 20 minutes and loving it.
What does it all *mean*?
What I love about Autechre is they’re basically a couple of blokes from Rochdale – pushing 50 – who were obsessed with early Hip Hop and Electro and they’re kept on refining and morphing that basic sound palette into ever evolving shapes and sounds. If the music gets a bit austere and difficult at times that’s your problem because they mean it maaaan.They are as important to the development of electronic and dance music as Kraftwerk…if Kraftwerk were familiar with the delights of Middleton.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
Autechre have advanced on such a ridiculous trajectory I’m still getting to grips with music they made 8 years ago but this one I think might appeal to people who liked to earlier stuff like ‘Amber’ in that it’s not as hectic and more sparse and ambient. I can absolutely see that a lot of people might find this music impenetrable, or perhaps just irritating or boring. For some reason this completely works for me so hopefully it will for you to.