Today’s offering is an epic track from Autechre (pronounced Ah-Tek-Er), one of my earliest electronic music favorites. This particular gem is from 1998′s legendary album, LP5, released on Warp Records. I find it difficult to believe that it’s over ten years old now.
To the uninitiated, Ae’s syncopated rhythms are far too complex, recognizable sounds are few and far between, and reference points are completely lacking. Give it time to grow — actually, let go of everything you think you know about music — and you’ll soon find yourself immersed in a lush, if entirely foreign land.
From the moment I discovered Incunabula in 1993, I have purchased each new album on the day it came out, more often than not counting down the days until its release. I am accustomed to finding very few obvious favorites on first listen, but repeated efforts always bear more fruit (I tend to listen to their new releases exclusively and repeatedly for a week or two, then take a month or so off before revisiting). I have also learned that there’s nothing like a new Ae album to make the previous one more intelligible.
“Rae” begins at a blistering pace, revealing its intricate and lengthy rhythm structure, all the while softer pads float just beneath the surface. With time, the harshness melts away, leaving those beautiful tones to envelope what little remains of the percussion, until it too disappears at the very end. There is nothing repetitive about it, its flow is completely organic. Just think about where it begins and where it ends, and tell me who else in the world can do this:
Still amazing after all these years.