Review Summary: One of my favorite electronic albums
Forming in Rochdale, England in 1987 it wasn’t until 1994 until Autechre started to receive some critical acclaim. Signing with Warp Records in 1993 Autechre are often credited for being one of the main IDM groups of the mid 90's. Sean Booth and Rob Brown (the two members of Autechre) have created some of the most unique and fresh electronic music of the 90's, and it all started with their sophomore released, Amber
. Incorporating a wider variety of electronic instruments into their sound Autechre started moving away from their more conventional, dancey sound and started experimenting with drum-machines and keyboards.
When hearing Amber
for the first time the production really caught my ear. Every drum beat, synth, and keyboard sound was captured beautifully by the warm, slick production. The bubbly, quirky keyboard sparkles that dominate “Nine” are extremely simple, yet the song is captivating and entrancing due to the polished production. “Silverside” is another track that benefits from the lush production. Driven by moody orchestrations ‘Silverside” contains a natural, crisp sound due to the multi-layered orchestrations and keyboard dynamics.
Although the organic keyboard sounds make Amber
such a soothing listen it’s the beat-driven tracks that give the album some life. “Foil” features a dark, robotic beat over a dense keyboard tone and that’s the majority of the song. Autechre have the ability to make things so simple yet still manage to keep their music interesting and generis. The bouncy electronic bleeps in “Montreal” have such a nice, relaxing, quirky sound that it’s almost impossible to avoid sitting back and relaxing. Sporting slightly funky beats over quirky electronics “Montreal” sums up most of Amber
. Other songs include the spastic, erratic “Piezo”, the haunting, beat-laiden “Teartear” and the calming ambience of “Yulquen.”
The variety featured on Amber
is absolutely incredible considering the fact that the album sounds so tight and cohesive. At times the music can get so bleak and dark (“Foil”, “Teartear”) and on the other end of the spectrum it can be so lively and fun (“Montreal”, “Piezo”). With so many different mood shifts and style changes Amber
still flows smoothly as a whole. Although the majority of Autechre fans consider the duo’s next effort Tri Repetae ++
as Autechre’s finest hour, Amber
is hands down the groups most complete and diverse album.