Autechre
elseq 1-5


3.8
excellent

Review

by Jacquibim STAFF
June 2nd, 2016 | 114 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Autechre continue to break ground they didn't know was there.

As much as Autechre’s self-appointed disciples would have you believe otherwise, the duo they so love to deify are actually human, susceptible to the same creative troughs that everyone else is. To point out something so obvious might seem a little odd, but over the course of a generation, Sean and Rob have unintentionally fostered the myth of their infallibility by way of their mind-boggling consistency. It’s easy to buy into the hyperbole that surrounds them, but only if you ignore the fact that they’re constantly upending their process to remain as in the dark as possible. After the release of Exai, the duo spoke a lot about “happy accidents” and the possibilities that come about by running with them. This allowed for seemingly endless creative avenues that weren’t accessible via the rigid approach of albums like Untilted, but the blank edges of the map may yet have been filled in by elseq, Autechre’s new, five-part monolith.

Here, Sean and Rob cross any and all sonic terrain with total discretion; where there are new aural phenomena to be found, every fissure, notch, crest and spur is detailed with exactness and patience. Like archaeologists unearthing a relic, they take pleasure in the tedium of brushing each nook and cranny clean. “eastre” of elseq 3 is basically twenty-two minutes of compulsive probing, as a solitary motif is gently tweaked ad infinitum and timbral nuances eventually come to the fore. In a way, the track embraces a “less-is-more” ethos in terms of input while the end product feels like it does anything but. Much of elseq 5 operates along the same wavelength, but the individual tracks are generally more gratifying as far as their presentation goes; “pendulu casual” revels in its sparsity, “spaces how V” and “freulaeux” like to ebb and flow, while “oneum” glistens and dangles. Contrast this with the seemingly impenetrable, globular clusters of sound spewed forth on elseq 1’s opener – a track that shares the underlying architecture of the aforementioned – and Autechre’s flexibility becomes apparent.

Above all else, what defines elseq from Autechre’s previous work is diligence – a willingness to flesh out even the tiniest of ideas long after they’d otherwise have been transformed or abandoned in albums gone by. So while it may be difficult to be believe on account of its range, elseq is more forgiving than anyone could’ve expected. Even “elyc6 0nset” of elseq 2 – a near-half-hour onslaught of mutilated rhythms, soundboard abuse and glitches that seem to cannibalise each other as their world falls apart – is more hypnotic than it is demanding. There’s a catch, though. The album’s accessibility is as much due its broadened content as it is in the way its individual parts are divided. Each is distinct enough to work alone should you feel unlike tackling the whole thing at once, but of course the option is there if you dare. elseq is a different beast when heard uninterrupted and without distractions, and it will do its best to break you, whether via the arrival of “c7b2” and its warbling percussion or the uncompromised freneticism of elseq 4 as a whole. The rewards for wading through are more than ample, however.

elseq may well be the most ambitious thing Autechre have ever released, so much so that it begs the question, “where are they supposed to go from here"” I’ve personally given up wondering. It seems absurd that two humans could never be exhausted of their creative potential, but the more the idea is entertained, the less ludicrous it becomes. Autechre’s next “happy accident” beckons.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2016


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuk

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

deathschool
June 2nd 2016


22976 Comments


Jac 4 Staff.

Oh wait...

Great review.

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2016


8320 Comments


mindpos so hard

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2016


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers guys this album was a nightmare to describe

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2016


8320 Comments


you did a pretty great job honestly

think anyone's gonna tackle them individually?

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2016


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Highly doubt it but it wouldn't hurt

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2016


8320 Comments


I'm normally not into Electronica, but the rating this album had (4.7) at the time encouraged me to check it out. And
so I did. And boy, was I welcomed by the most earscrewing noisy oddity of a record. I absolutely hated nearly every
moment, but I withstood it, because I already paid for this so I thought that I won't let this album win over me. I
will not rate it, because I am sure that I probably don't get the whole "concept" and if I give it what I actually
feel it deserves (2/10), nearly 99% of all the people who listened to it will proclaim me an idiot and ask the most
obvious question: "Why did you even listen to it, you cripple-minded dumbass? You obviously don't understand the
genre." and stuff like that. (and also the system won't let me give it 1.5, so...) So, as I already said, I withstood
and won. I listened to the whole thing, TWICE! And now I'm sitting in my chair, which is soon about to form some sort
of cavity in form of my butt, and I think to myslef "I won! I'm broke now and significantly fatter, but I won!"
In other words, this album is shit and I don't get why anyone likes it.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2016


6676 Comments


rate it based on how you enjoyed it - you can change the rating later

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2016


8320 Comments


yo johnny check the soundoffs for this

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2016


6676 Comments


oh, lol. I'm oblivious 0~o

forgot you were a dece user for a sec

iloveyouall
June 2nd 2016


6319 Comments


that summary is kinda bleh, but good words friendo

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2016


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol summaries are the worst part of writing a review but I gotta have em as a staffer apparently pls forgive

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2016


8320 Comments


"Review Summary: if you cant eat it or fuck it, then kill it" >

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2016


3023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nothing will beat cosmic trems of dick

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2016


8320 Comments


it's hard to contend with KILL

indigonowhere
Emeritus
June 2nd 2016


10727 Comments


I listened to the first disc of this and !!!!!

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2016


8320 Comments


the suspense is killing me

hal1ax
June 2nd 2016


11765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ayyy good review brajj

hal1ax
June 2nd 2016


11765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i dig your description of elyc6 0nset

Valkyrion
June 2nd 2016


1161 Comments


i don't think i can withstand 5 hours of autechre, as much as i appreciate their work



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