Autechre
Incunabula


4.5
superb

Review

by Marko Polovina USER (90 Reviews)
July 28th, 2009 | 119 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Are you sitting comfortably? Artificial Intelligence is for long journeys, quiet nights and club drowsy dawns. Listen with an open mind."

Autechre's debut Incunabula is seen in the eyes of many as a step forward in the electronic genre. Autechre's debut varies in style ranging from hollow to benevolent within the music. Initially the first album brought out by Sean Booth and Rob Brown would actually join a catalogue from Warp Records entitled Artificial Intelligence. Its purpose? To show the change and immense capabilities in electronic music from 1992-1994. Although they're known as the leaders of IDM, techno, and the electronic genre now, as unknowns Richard D. James, Autechre, The Orb, and Richie Hawtin are the few who contributed to this collection for their label Warp. There is no doubt that series has left an imprint on the minds of many for the generation only learning to love a relatively new genre. Obscure and unrelenting at times, IDM can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Incunabula is the testament of Autechre's and a genre's legacy, which is still going strong after 20 or so years.

It may be the reason from immense progress that so much of Incunabula feels linear in a way. Each direction of the music takes a turn for the better, even if it isn't something new to the ear nowadays, it can be seen across the genre in the present time of Autechre's vast influence. Although the style changes from classic electronic movements, ambient, and sometimes minimalistic techno Incunabula shows how important Autechre was for this movement. Incorporating all signs of experimentation within their debut there wasn't much to go from there. "Kalpol Introl" remains to be their most popular and noticeable song on Incunabula; the album's only single would later be featured on Darren Aronofosky's modern masterpiece Pi. The serene, whirling, and calm "Kalpol Introl" is what electronic music was about at the time. Pure experimentation, these tracks as other electronic artists in the early 90's are to thank for such an solid, exciting, and unusual approach. If anything Autechre's debut signals the foretelling of a progressive genre; the very same year Aphex Twin's minimalistic ambient techno affair Selected Ambient Works 85-92 would see great admiration from all. With each new artist, a new classic would be brought to the forefront.

The album plays a similar tune for lack of a better word. From "Kalpol Introl" the track "Bike" follows in its footsteps within the peaceful and humbling waves of electronic. The eeriness ensues within "Autriche", but the overall feeling is not lost within the music. As I said the tune of the album is similar in stature, just different in tone, much of "Autriche" as well as Incunabula takes a moderate and gradual climb within each track, by either peeling and whisking away at the layers or adding a few more. "Basscadet" is where the energy starts to pick up, its hand drum intro with glitchy atmosphere is relevant as addictive in every sense of the term. Gradually building upon the initial beats "Basscadet" sets of in a dark journey in the mind of any IDM enthusiast. With each murmuring of "I have no idea what's going on", a layer is slowly put together to create 5 minute session of excitement. Although one of the shorter songs on Incunabula it remains one of the strongest. "Eggshell" may scrap the minimalistic techno beats from the former track "Basscadet", but the subdued haunting atmosphere works even better. As the various twists and turns of ambient music skew towards waves of electronic benevolence a resounding and proper closer "444" takes Incunabula full circle. Summarizing the album from its beginnings towards it's smooth end.

Incunabula can be seen in the eyes of many as a journey for beginning of a relatively new and exciting genre of electronic music. Each track takes on a different approach within its tone and atmosphere, from serene and peaceful, dark and menacing, to eerie and haunting all is here to love.



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Incunabula is an intricate enigma that visits the unexplored depths of electronic music....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2009


20858 Comments


This looks familiar. You've plagiarized this off of my good friend AbsolutionSpiral. Did I spell it right?

MassiveAttack
July 28th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol Yes.

MassiveAttack
July 29th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just so quiet and desolate in this review =(

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009


16149 Comments


I've never heard this album before, but I love Tri Repetae.

As for the review itself, it's better.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

MassiveAttack
July 29th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Any pointers on this review that can be implemented in the next? I see you've said its better, but that doesn't implore much confidence lol.

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009


16149 Comments


I don't know. Mostly little things. Sentences that could be trimmed down and stuff:

Autechre's debut Incunabula is seen in the eyes of many as a step forward in the electronic genre in general.
"in general" could be deleted here. It might seem small but combine a few overly long sentences and the flow gets jacked. Also, word choice... "for the electronic genre" works better.

Also, make sure sentences make sense:

Citing the reason for its varying style ranging from hollow to benevolent within the music.
What does that even mean? ;)

And extra-long sentences:
Although they're known as the leaders of IDM, techno, and in general the electronic music genre now, as unknowns Richard D. James, Autechre, The Orb, and Richie Hawtin to name a few all contributed to this collection for their label Warp.
Again, all the bold could be deleted. If you want to include "now" it would work better as "Althought they're now known as..."

There's a little more in the review, but that about covers it. Basically, it's flow issues and word choice.


MassiveAttack
July 29th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Citing the reason for its varying style ranging from "dark and hollow" to "kind and warm".

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009


16149 Comments


I think the problem I have with that sentence is the word "citing". That sentence just seems incomplete, if nothing else.

MassiveAttack
July 29th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea I can see how that doesn't exactly work. Thanks :]

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009


16149 Comments


No problem. I'm not trying to nit-pic but you asked.

MassiveAttack
July 29th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea just trying to get better. I do add a lot of unnecessary stuff, probably because I get a bit wordy when thinking about it subconsciously.

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009


16149 Comments


I used to have the same problem (still do, actually). I have to make one of my proof-reads entirely focused on making sentences shorter and more concise because my first draft is always too wordy with far too many commas and semicolons.

Meatplow
August 28th 2009


5524 Comments


Good review. I quite like this album.

MassiveAttack
August 28th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its awesome =)

Meatplow
October 8th 2009


5524 Comments


The more I listen to this group the more I appreciate their work.

Bike is a really nice track, I fell asleep listening to Incunabula last night and this kind of repetition is really nice when you are in that state of mind.

Meatplow
January 18th 2011


5524 Comments


Kalpol Intro, Basscadet and Eggshell are my other favourites

MassiveAttack
January 18th 2011


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album so relaxing man. The first track is perfect.

Meatplow
January 19th 2011


5524 Comments


yeah as soon as I hear it i'm all nostalgic for early 90's IDM

do you like F.U.S.E. Marco?

MassiveAttack
January 19th 2011


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no, but you don't even need to tell me; it sounds promising. What album do I grab? : )

Destroy All Girls
January 20th 2011


6 Comments


ugh, banned

Dimension Intrusion. just a very nice minimal techno album from around this period



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