A-all-the-way-to-the-E: 19 hours of Autechre, circa 2015
February 1, 2019 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Whatcha doing this weekend? Nothing much planned? OK, good, because Autechre recently dropped a set of 19 live recordings to stream and buy from Bleep, from their 2015 North American tour, running over 19 hours total. Bonus 1: early evening set from Rob Hall in Los Angeles (Mixcloud), before the Autechre set. "Gentle friendly tunes to greet the gentle friendly folk of LA." Bonus 2: Here's almost 3 minutes Live at Sónar on YouTube (the lights come on at about 45 seconds in). Bonus 3: 20 minutes of Live at Sweatbox 2, Bojangles, Drake Street, Rochdale, 4th June 1991, back when people thought it was a good idea to bring the whistle posse to Autechre shows.
posted by filthy light thief (15 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Heard nothing but bad things about that 2015 tour, even from people tolerant/forgiving of late Autechre
posted by anazgnos at 3:27 PM on February 1


Also - don't forget to mention that this falls on the back of the 8 hour release of NTS sessions, and the previous release Elseq which spans 5 full discs.

Are these included with my already purchased live sets they added to over time or is this a new set? It seems like a new dump that won't just be tacked on my old set like some that I'd seen, but I'm gonna check it out.
posted by symbioid at 3:59 PM on February 1


EDIT: Yep, looks like they're there. So, from what I can tell, if you purchase a "live" set/release, it includes all the old and new content released even after your purchase???
posted by symbioid at 4:03 PM on February 1


Goodness this is a lot of Autechre. I finally managed to absorb and enjoy all of Elseq, but it took a long time. The NTS Sessions never have grown on me.

It feels like this new release is approaching some sort of ideal of pure generative music. There's just the one bleep/bloop machine and a never ending output of chaotic sound. Although sampling around a bit there is a lot of variety. How do you even approach 19 hours of live electronica like this?

BTW, the Autechre subreddit ain't bad. They infor me that Elseq is now on Spotify.
posted by Nelson at 4:34 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Oh, these new live releases are on Spotify too! As are the previous AE_LIVE releases from European shows (and Nagano).
posted by Nelson at 4:39 PM on February 1


One fun tweet I saw said this new batch of gigs shows that Autechre just want to be the Grateful Dead of this generation.

The Autechre subreddit makes me feel old when I read things like “my first Autechre is NTS Sessions 2!” I don’t mean that like “lol n00bs”. It must be wild & wonderful to discover them now then go listen to Incunabula or Amber for the first time.

I hadn’t gotten thru the earlier batch of 9 shows so 19 more is a bit daunting.
posted by shortfuse at 4:54 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


There's just the one bleep/bloop machine and a never ending output of chaotic sound. Although sampling around a bit there is a lot of variety. How do you even approach 19 hours of live electronica like this?

At some point, probably around the time of Cichlisuite, I speculated that at some point, a band like Autechre would just package up the patches and sequence generators into a distributable unit of software that would have a play button. This is the thing about Autechre for me, that "takes" in their studio model is probably restarting the software until they get a string of randomness that they like. A packaged unit of these generators would allow fans to listen to a different version of "cc.cCCcduQw22.foobar" every time!

And certainly there have been algorithmic installations that run for weeks without anybody touching them. One day the pendulum will swing back from the ease of automated sequencing (to whatever aesthetic degree it evolves, which may not be much more than bleep-bloop-tick). This is the occupational hazard of increasingly removing the human touch from the compositional process.
posted by rhizome at 5:15 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Since the untimely death of Roland Kayn, Ae make the only music that (for me, anyway) scratches the same itch... just a big, inscrutable alien ecosystem to get lost in. So generous of them to share all of this in such extended form. And encouraging, too, in a time of decreasing attention spans.
posted by remembrancer at 5:17 PM on February 1


just package up the patches and sequence generators into a distributable unit of software that would have a play button

Joe Paradiso's modular synthesizer (much more detail) is like this, but analog and the size of about 8 refrigerators. I saw it running live once and it was just phenomenal. He'd start it going with a speech synthesizer module and the sound would quickly take off, feeding back on itself and distoring and warping into a complex Persian carpet of sound, music, noise. In some ways the Max/MSP machines Autechre were using ~10 years ago were a software simulation of this kind of machine. I think they've gone even further down the road of programming their own software now.

I'm a fan of generative art! But it raises questions about the finiteness of art, and its value. My favorite things in visual art are where the artist builds the generation system and then carefully selects a particularly nice output or small series as "the artwork". I think that's a lot of what the Autechre studio albums are too.

I hadn't quite understood this new release is 19 separate recordings of concerts from the same tour. Really it's 19 separate 1 hour live performances and I think the analogy to the Grateful Dead isn't entirely off. A jam band but with bleeps and bloops replacing distorted guitar and the unasked-for 10 minute drum solo. I've listened to two hours now and the two definitely sounded similar in a way. Also lots of recognizable licks from the studio albums. I'm not sure I really need all 19 in my life.
posted by Nelson at 7:16 PM on February 1


They.. they turned the lights on?! That’s pretty drastic, are we talking about the same band here?
posted by doop at 2:23 AM on February 2


Cool – they have the DC show that I saw at U Street Music Hall. I still have the shirt somewhere.

(I love Warp, but the avant-garde UI of the Bleep site is just nonsense.)

Heard nothing but bad things about that 2015 tour, even from people tolerant/forgiving of late Autechre

I was a fan of Autechre's earlier, more accessible stuff; only moderately so of the needlier, glitchier stuff they became known for. And I thought the show was great.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:38 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I loved Amber but I never really ventured too far from it. Maybe I will. I have to be in the mood for bleepy bloopy electronica and I so rarely am these days.
posted by biscotti at 5:15 AM on February 2


Here's all the new stuff in one convenient Spotify playlist.

One fun tweet I saw said this new batch of gigs shows that Autechre just want to be the Grateful Dead of this generation.

That might've been me, lol. Bonus: two years ago I called them a jam band for linux users.
posted by naju at 11:01 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


Their work sounds more and more purely generative and bewildering, but it doesn't seem like it's driven by absolutism of the kind required for a software only release. They pretty much dismiss the idea of releasing software in this 2018 interview.

And while they rail against the conservatism of mainstream electronic music, and sneer at the use of a MIDI grid ("lol all that gear and then a logic piano roll — says it all really"), then you have Sean Booth saying (albeit a decade ago) his desert island setup would be "a copy of Digital Performer and an AKG C-1000 mic", and about Confield:
But there’s only 3 tracks on there that are really generative really. It just gets massively overblown because people think it’s dead interesting, but it’s not is it? To me it’s just like a bunch of arpeggiators plugged into each other, going off and we’ve been doing that since Lego Feet days.
posted by mubba at 10:57 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


shortfuse: One fun tweet I saw said this new batch of gigs shows that Autechre just want to be the Grateful Dead of this generation.

Nelson: I think the analogy to the Grateful Dead isn't entirely off. A jam band but with bleeps and bloops replacing distorted guitar and the unasked-for 10 minute drum solo.

A friend and I were talking about this idea -- the "organic" bands, who play songs as themes around which to explore, and the "classic" bands, who play music as it is written, more or less. He was talking about Pink Floyd, after listening to some of their early 1970s shows, and then about Radiohead. Now I'm thinking about jazz improvisation and jam bands, where if you know their music or standards of their scenes, you can recognize what they're doing, and appreciate the skill it takes to stay together as a band and still stay on that "theme." Autechre, and other knob-twiddlers, have just as much chance to be improvisers as re-creators, noodling on themes or repeating past sequences pretty closely each time.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:55 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


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