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Autechre performing at Princeton
Autechre performing at Princeton
Background information
Origin Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England
Genre(s) IDM
Isolationist ambient
Minimal techno
Years active 1987–present
Label(s) Warp
Wax Trax!
Associated acts Gescom, Lego Feet
Website Autechre at Warp Records
Sean Booth
Rob Brown

Autechre are an English electronic music group consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both natives of Rochdale, England. The group is one of the most prominent acts signed with Warp Records, a label known for its pioneering electronic music artists. Some journalists consider Autechre to be a paragon of IDM and one of the driving forces behind its development,[1] though Booth and Brown are ambivalent in relating their sound to established genres.[2]


[edit] History

Brown and Booth formed the group in 1987 when they both lived in Rochdale. They began their career making and trading mixtapes between each other, and gradually moved on to their own compositions[3] while collecting a handful of cheap equipment, most notably a Casio SK-1 sampler and a Roland TR-606 drum machine.[4] Since then they have employed a wide variety of electronic instruments to create an evolving style.

Booth and Brown pronounce the name Autechre with a Rochdale accent (IPA: /ɔːˈtɛkɚ/ — approximately "awe-teh-ker").[5] However, they have explained that the name can be pronounced in any way one sees fit.[3] Booth explains: "The first two letters were intentional, because there was an 'au' sound in the track, and the rest of the letters were bashed randomly on the keyboard. We had this track title for ages, and we had written it on a cassette, with some graphics. It looked good, and we began using it as our name."[6] They are also commonly referred to by the abbreviation "Ae" or "æ".

Autechre have also recorded under various pseudonyms. One of the duo's earliest recordings was a 12" under the alias "Lego Feet", released in 1991 on Skam Records. The majority of Gescom releases, most of them on Skam, have been attributed to Booth and Brown, among other artists. Autechre helped initiate the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in 2000, and were responsible for curating the 2003 festival.

On two occasions Autechre have streamed webcasts from their website. The first was on 10 April 2005, and lasted a little over 7 and a half hours. The most recent took place on 23 February 2008, and was exactly 12 hours long. Both began at 8pm GMT, and featured an eclectic range of music.

[edit] Music

Much of Autechre's music has a strong focus on complex rhythm, driving percussion, and meticulous sequencing. Often unusual rhythmic loops repeat and change incrementally, with the music constantly in transition. Sometimes patterns are set against one another, implying several time signatures at once. Later work has been notably experimental and abstract, in contrast to the more club-friendly and conventional early 1990s releases.

Reactions to their music have varied. Many of their tracks contain complex or chaotic rhythms and close harmonies which some hear as random and noisy. Fans of their recent work tend to find the value of their music to lie in its unique fusion of rhythmic and melodic elements, i.e. melodic percussive samples, and often numerous cacophonous melodic lines and chord structures playing simultaneously. A recurring element in Autechre's work are the uses of extremely short harsh and time stretched samples to create a fragmented, grainy effect .

[edit] Methods

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True to their early techno roots, Autechre use a wide array of analog synths in their production,[4] as well as analog and digital drum machines, mixers, effects units and samplers. They have also made extensive use of a variety of computer based sequencers, softsynths, and other applications as a means of controlling those synths and processing the synthesized sounds. Autechre have experimented in depth with development environments such as Max/MSP (invented by software pioneer Miller Puckette),[6] and Kyma[6] – amongst others – from 1997 onwards, though it is unclear which are still in use. In 2005, they used the Elektron Machinedrum and Monomachine in their live performances.[7] In 2008, Sean Booth reported that if he were locked in a cell for a year with only one piece of software and one piece of hardware, he'd "probably take a copy of Digital Performer and an AKG C-1000 mic."[8]

Other machines that Autechre have repeatedly mentioned in interviews are appreciated for their interface and aesthetics as much as their sound, including the Roland TR-606 and MC-202, and the Nord Lead.

Autechre sometimes use generative techniques,[6] most notably on Confield and EP7.

[edit] Recent Activities

Autechre Recently released two new songs on the album "45 - A Tribute To Daniel Hansson". The tracks are called Coenc3 and Elephant Gear. Elephant gear is a collaboration track with artist Venetian Snares.

[edit] Discography

[edit] Albums

[edit] EPs

[edit] Singles, promos, and remixes

  • 1991: "Cavity Job" (12" vinyl single limited to 1,000 copies)
  • 1994: Basscadet (five remixes – six on vinyl – of "Basscadet" from Incunabula; also known as Basscad) UK #56
  • 1996: "We R Are Why" (12" vinyl promo.)
  • 1997: Radio Mix (hour-long DJ remix of own and other artists' tracks)
  • 1999: "Splitrmx12" (12" vinyl promo limited to 3,000 copies)
  • 2008: "Quaristice (Versions)" (Limited to 1,000 copies, contains remixes of 11 Quaristice tracks)
  • 2008: Digital Exclusive (3-track EP available only in the Japanese iTunes Store)

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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