autechre's new CD/DVD gantz_graf
August 2, 2002 5:13 PM   Subscribe

autechre's new CD/DVD gantz_graf deserves a larger audience than it will most likely receive. not only a brilliant piece of what can be labeled "idm" music, a stunning confluence of hypermodern audio and video artistry.
posted by iceblink (33 comments total)
..hits post button and blurts out, "quicktime required!" all apologies for not including this in the initial post.
posted by iceblink at 5:17 PM on August 2, 2002

Autechre is absolutely amazing. Such is the genius of their work, that it took me almost a year to fully realize and appreciate EP 5.

Aren't they curating the UK All Tommorow's Parties? I'd probably kill to go to that.
posted by Satapher at 5:24 PM on August 2, 2002

i like autechre and all, but the video's kinda bleh.
looks like they just ran the song through a really slick winamp visualization plugin.
imo, certainly not as impressive as this video (not autechre, windows media or real).
posted by juv3nal at 5:31 PM on August 2, 2002

no offense... but how can you listen to more than half a minute of that? It seems like they took every sound that could possibly be offensive to the ears, and compiled it into one piece... This is hardly visionary work, music is supposed to at least not make you want to listen to it with the volume down as low as possible.
posted by statusquo at 5:39 PM on August 2, 2002

juv3nal: i caught that royksopp video earlier this after, what a great piece of work (as well). i really dig that whole infographic stylee, something it shares in common with the pleix/plaid video on the warp records animation site. regarding your take on the gantz_graf video, perhaps what Satapher said in his post could be applied here - autechre is really more of an acquired taste (not to be presumptous regarding your exposure to their past work). either that, or you haven't watched it on a decent enough dvd setup. ;)
posted by iceblink at 5:41 PM on August 2, 2002

I'm a big Autechre fan but I have absolutely no desire to see the video. I'll skip the DVD version. Their music is damned intriguing enough - why ruin the images in your own head with someone else's interpretation? Video is wonderful. Music is wonderful. Music + video = not wonderful.
posted by davebush at 5:55 PM on August 2, 2002

posted by delmoi at 6:11 PM on August 2, 2002

I haven't heard this new release, but if it's anything like confield, I'm sure I'll hate it. IMO, autechre hit their high point when incunabula came out, and have been going downhill ever since.
posted by chrisege at 6:15 PM on August 2, 2002

If insects made beautiful music, it'd sound like this.
posted by BentPenguin at 6:20 PM on August 2, 2002

I'm intrigued by the idea of Autechre, and artists of a similar ilk, exploring DVD/video as a medium.

But, on the evidence of that bit of circa-1992 acid rave video work, I'll give it a miss.

The results of Reel Warp at this year's Edinburgh Film Festival should be interesting though.
posted by influx at 6:21 PM on August 2, 2002

hey, cut me some slack, with the adjectives those guys who review records over at pitchforkmedia and absorb get away with you definitely should be letting me get away with "hypermodern". pfft.
posted by iceblink at 6:26 PM on August 2, 2002

IMO, autechre hit their high point when incunabula came out

then you're missing out on tracks 3,4, and 5 from chiclisuite.
posted by juv3nal at 6:44 PM on August 2, 2002

statusquo: no offense... but how can you listen to more than half a minute of that?

That's still longer than I can listen to Status Quo for...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 7:04 PM on August 2, 2002

This... is really interesting. I just discovered Autechre about six months ago, and hadn't really heard much besides Incunabula. When I started listening to this, my ears rebelled... but now that I've been listening to it for a couple of minutes, I'm beginning to like it. It's not different from ordinary pop/electronica except that it uses instruments of extremely unusual timbre.

I agree the video isn't much.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:05 PM on August 2, 2002

I am going to have to thank juv3nal for showing me that video.
posted by Darke at 7:30 PM on August 2, 2002

I really like the video, it's a lot how I visualized autechre's music to myself. That little clip really doesn't do it justice, I'e seen the full thing at full quality, and it truely is stunning.

And how can one listen to autechre? I've always had an interest in unconventional percussion, and below all that noise there are some interesting things going on that keep me captivated.
posted by atom128 at 9:07 PM on August 2, 2002

Fuck that shit. Lack of melody, enough said. It's a sonic experiment and should be labelled as such, but musically it's like hitting yourself in the face.

Geniuses maybe, rhythmic perfectionists also, but as musicians I just feel like they miss the point. Just because it isn't "listenable" by the masses doesn't necessarily make it the most unique and brilliant stuff out there.
posted by dopamine at 10:16 PM on August 2, 2002

That's subjective. You're saying theres no beauty in ugly, which has been demonstrated to be false in visual arts (dekooning, schiele), and even in music. Wasn't early rock and roll condemned as cacophonius noise? What about punk?

People like it. Therefore I conclude, they're on to something. Personally, my favorite of theirs is tri repetae ++ which is probably more up your alley, dopamine.
posted by atom128 at 10:21 PM on August 2, 2002

dopamine, there's a ton of melody. Listen to it. Reminds me of Dixieland jazz a little. If Autechre were a little more commercial, they would have added a vocal track about lost love, or shooting a man in Memphis or something, had a skinny chick in a short tight black dress sing it, and do the video of her and the band on stage with lots of colored fresnels and an enthusiastic crowd. It would be killer.

I don't even think it's a 'beauty in ugly' thing. These are just sounds of timbre's we're not accustomed to thinking of as 'music'. Well, so was rap. No one was used to hearing the human voice used as an instrument in that way, and there's still a couple of generations who don't 'get' rap/hip-hop, and probably never will. This is the same thing. Will sounds like this ever catch on, get commercially big? Who knows. But for now, it's really interesting, beautiful, and compelling, and that's enough for me.

Thanks, iceblink!

I still can't stand De Kooning, though.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:58 PM on August 2, 2002

Mmmm...Autechre. I do wish more people would give them a chance. True they can be self-indulgent at times but this is complex, challenging music - unconventional melodies (they are there) layered on top of jazz-like rhythmic structures. It doesnt have to succeed but to my mind it does. Incunabula is one of my favorite albums.

I'm excited about gans_graf. Thanks iceblink!
posted by vacapinta at 11:46 PM on August 2, 2002

Has that track been encoded at a really low bitrate or is it meant to sound like that?
posted by kerplunk at 2:12 AM on August 3, 2002

as a whole album, i'd probably go with tri repetae as my favorite, but tracks 3 thru 5 off of chiclisuite are absolute genius

the post tri repetae stuff tends to be a bit hit or miss with me; i dread lentic catachresis off of confield for instance.

having said that, they are the *only* band(?) that i'll buy a new (full-length) album from without having heard it first.
posted by juv3nal at 3:04 AM on August 3, 2002

I'll have to check this out when I'm at a real machine(laptop, currently), but I agree with Chrisege. I hated Confield, though I should probably check it out again, now that there's some time since I got it. I was really irritated because I've been getting their stuff since Incunabula, including the various side-projects and have loved all of it.
posted by Su at 5:26 AM on August 3, 2002

Hi Dick, I'm Amber, and I'm 17...that song's got a great beat, and it's really fun to dance to. I give it a 75.
posted by amberglow at 6:11 AM on August 3, 2002

posted by n9 at 3:53 PM on August 3, 2002

some of you guys are so fucking square. you should be ashamed of yourselves. you are the water in the lungs of real music.
posted by Satapher at 4:34 PM on August 3, 2002

and by the way, music isn't "supposed to be" anything, it's art. [ ].
posted by Satapher at 4:38 PM on August 3, 2002

For what it's worth, I think Autechre reached their peak with the Envane EP -- I *hated* -- *loathed* Confield, though I can imagine how some listeners, sturdier than I, might have liked it, but I love Envane.

As for their 'losing the plot,' I second that. My junior year of college (not too long ago!) one of the groups on campus booked Autechre to play a springtime, outdoor party, a terrible idea to begin with, made even worse by the new Confield material. I think what they're doing right now is interesting, the way a lot of avant garde art is interesting -- a lot of emphasis on process, not too much on product, yields results that are bizarre and completely unintelligible, like this song right here. :-) But it was cool to see them up close. I wonder what music they listen to?
posted by josh at 10:03 PM on August 3, 2002

let me just add to my statement about "going downhill" that incunabula was FUCKING INCREDIBLE. Amber was pretty great too, and while I enjoy a lot of their later, less melodic stuff, for me it really gets lost in a sea of imitators who didn't do it half as well.

but "basscadet," "bike," and basically everything else off of incunabula... electronic music really doesn't get much better than that.
posted by chrisege at 12:13 AM on August 4, 2002

I wonder what music they listen to?

a quite dated list here.
posted by juv3nal at 1:49 AM on August 4, 2002

Does anyone know how Autechre generates their "song" titles? I'm curious how they reach such seemingly random names such as "eutow" "vose in" and "sim gishel".

Supposedly, it's a program with a random script to spew out names from a list of words — Tortoise used it in the liner notes for their "Standards" album. Anyone with the inside word on how they get those names?
posted by Down10 at 10:24 PM on August 4, 2002

Autechre is a great example of how people can manage to find art in anything, and positive proof that if you record it, someone will like it.

I saw a documentary once where they took a painting and had it critiqued by a bunch of different art critics. Some critics touched on hidden meanings, composition statements, intricate patterns and so forth. Others pretty much disregarded it as tripe. The painting was majestically painted by an elephant, holding a brush with it's trunk.
posted by fluxcreative at 8:18 AM on August 5, 2002

Is it that the art critics were mistaken in their critique of the elephant's painting? I'd argue this is the greatest gift modern art has given us: the ability to see art everywhere. Slavoj Zizek, a Slovenian philosopher, admits to having mistook street construction for postmodern installation art, a mistake resulting from having once seen building-crane ballet. Does the fact that an object was not intended as art make the experience of the object any less an aesthetic experience?
posted by josephtate at 10:13 PM on August 5, 2002

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