Review Summary: Still refusing to make any concessions, Autechre release an even more over the top piece of work.
It starts with silence. Suddenly, a broken and fast series of beats come in. They try to unfold as if they where constrained in a musical vessel. But there's no success. The beats remains basically the same for the first three minutes, until they finally break free, and the scene changes, with some remaining traces of the original beats pounding relieved, quietly. You're now in a sort of limbo, a numb atmosphere reigns, slowly, gradually changing, until the music finally fades out. As repetitive as it is unsettling, "LCC" sets the tone for the entire album.
"Untilted" is rude and impolite: it doesn't care at all for the listener. There's no melody to guide you through its darkness, and the beats are so cold and lifeless that you feel deserted in a strange world. Musical passages are multi-segmented, always mutating, never retracing its steps. There's never a sense of conclusion in the songs, always filled with strange and corrosive soundscapes. The album is hermetic, it doesn't let you in. It's the musical equivalent of a distant planet coming to an end, slowly collapsing and dissolving, bizarre things occurring. You never understand what is happening, but is not pretty. And you're the silent witness, left alone to deal with the chaos.
"Untilted" relies heavily on the imagery it creates. It's lifeless, but you're allowed to contemplate it. It demands a particular interaction with the listener; otherwise you get irremediably lost in its vacuum.
This time, everything is set to the extreme. "Untilted" is on the very verge of crossing the thin line between fine experimental music and indecipherable noise. But the attention to detail, the delicately constructed soundscapes, the skill that makes it all cohesive, reveal nothing but a masterly craftsmanship. Sonic adventurous siblings "Confield" and "Draft 7.30" sound naive by comparison.
"Untilted" doesn’t make for an enjoyable experience. Half the time you’ll be boggled at its brooding presence. But it's like watching an outer space phenomenon: it's captivating.