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Autechre interviews


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It will be more than ten years since I went to a rave, and in the period in which I went I was not inside the movement but more than transversal, so I am the last one who has an interest in taking position, however I am not so sure about this generation gap, where once there was a revolutionary attitude and now the revival of conventions, I mean, here it is a few years ago, and it does not seem the reconstruction of a fashon club atmosphere (lol)

 

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Yeah, there are multiple scenes I think. Go to a psytrance rave and you won't get much fashionable people. On the other hand you get tons of hippies. So you win some, you lose some.

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interview was very good, if a little too focused on the past for my personal tastes (not that they matter ofc). was good in that both of them seemed to be chatty, usually it's way more S than R lol, and the interviewer/editor likely didn't trim too much if anything. 

interesting hearing that PLUS was sorta secondary to the SIGN statement, if only partly in a way. i think that's what most here were feeling anyway, so it makes sense. 

recommend for anyone going to read this, put on the WARP TAPES as listening music for this. 🙂 

also

jed thx

 

edit: also ofc joseph many thanks for the hours i'm sure you put into translating this! :beer:

Edited by auxien
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I didn’t like the interview much! 😕
Can’t interviewers stick to present times for a change?! How many times do we need to read the same story all over again? 

Edited by xox
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otoh i don't think i've read another interview where they go into such detail about those early days. i found it quite interesting and the stuff about why mantronix was so significant was quite fascinating to me.

i love all ae interviews tho

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  • 2 weeks later...

RB: No, there’s a better way – let them choose. Like, (singing as in a commercial) I believe in the children of the future!  It’d be good to let them pick for themselves.

done

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On 4/1/2021 at 6:36 PM, xox said:

I didn’t like the interview much! 😕
Can’t reviewers stick to present times for a change?! How many times do we need to read the same story all over again? 

Agreed, It is cool to hear about good old times but more intrested in whats going on with their work right now, tour climate, influnces atm etc.. 
And what keeps them driving their sounds towards certain dirrections. 

I would be the best interviewer ever really. 

Sean and Rob: Fuck the open AAA Watmm and the magazines.. PM me and I will deliver the best god damn interview in the world. Peace

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It's partly them, though. I'm really very thankful to @joseph for translating the interview - much better we have this than not! Their observations are always entertaining to read. And maybe the Max / MSP section will have a more contemporary focus. But I have noticed they come alive talking about the past, influences, scenes and artists they liked, and clam up quite a bit when discussing any newest album. Not always - there's exceptions, like the 'Oversteps' Japanese sleeve interview or RA interview - but often they're pretty evasive, maybe even dismissive of what's gone behind an album that's just been released. I mean on one level it's kind of hilarious, like their talk about SIGN just being "an accident" and PLUS being off-cuts from that material. The total non-romanticism is really refreshing on one level. But on another, I'd kind of like to hear more about the process of their recent work. It's not boring, it's natural that we want to know more about a creative process.. Of course though they owe nobody any explanations and the music speaks for itself. I just find the way things are made interesting.

Edited by Lianne
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  • 3 weeks later...

Probably linked to already, but here's the Ae interview with The Irish Times published the day before the 2018 Dublin gig.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/autechre-something-happens-when-you-listen-to-music-in-the-dark-1.3558048

 

Autechre: ‘Something happens when you listen to music in the dark’

Electronic musicians tend to stage elaborate live shows featuring dazzling lights, eye-popping visuals, and all sorts of bells and whistles. Kraftwerk tour a 3D live presentation nearly half a century since their inception in Dusseldorf, and a performance by the Beatyard-bound Orbital wouldn’t be complete without their trademark head torches. After a career spanning 31 years, Autechre are audaciously taking live electronic music forward, but in an opposite direction, as the duo from Rochdale, greater Manchester, will perform in the National Concert Hall entirely in the dark. 

The method to their madness is simply to accentuate the listening experience. “I think something happens when you listen to music either with your eyes closed or in the dark,” says Sean Booth. “The music reaches further into you.”

Listening to tracks in darkness has also informed their working methods. “We often find ourselves listening to tracks back on headphones with our eyes closed, and every event and moment might be more or less poignant than you imagined,” adds Rob Brown. “I think everyone feels similar when their computer is turned off. Your eyes are no longer distracted.”

Today, Autechre have their eyes wide open as they talk via computers – what else – from their respective home studios in Bristol and Manchester. “I’m not a neuroscientist, but all I know is something happens in the dark that I’m desperately trying to explain,” Booth offers.

“When we used to go out before the rave thing kicked off, there used to be a lot of shiny clubs with bright lights and sparkly dresses and all that. The first warehouse party I went to was in about ’88, and it was basically black with no light at all. It was weird. Obviously, the music was really hypnotic and captivating, so something locked you into a zone, and then that zone became three-dimensional and tangible because you experience sound in 3D. It’s not like looking at something on a screen that is a representation of a space; through sound, you’re actually in a space and there is stuff going on. I personally find it much more immersive.” 

 

Mick Jagger

Autechre have enjoyed hearing, rather than observing, how audiences react. “You can still feel the crowd’s reaction with the lights off,” Booth says. “We get a feeling they might be less aware of us though, especially in America, where they have a much more visual culture. They want showmanship in a Mick Jagger kind of way.

“It took America a long time to get their heads around dance music, about 20 years really. They are still struggling with what happened with dance music in Europe, especially in the ’90s, and we’re definitely part of that. If we did this in America, they’ll probably think, ‘They’re so pretentious’, or whatever. We’re just really into sound. It always seemed such a basic and obvious thing to do.”

Dublin was also a very obvious venue for this project, as they’ve played the capital numerous times over the years and have a long-standing relationship with Paul Timoney of music promoters U:Mack. 

“Dublin is mad,” Booth laughs. “My grandad loved Dublin and he used to go over a lot when we was younger. When I went there myself, I immediately realised why. It’s kind of like a giant Rochdale that’s also a capital city.

“There are a lot of familiar things to me about Dublin in terms of attitude and conduct. It feels familiar, which might be just because there is so many Irish in the northwest of England. We also share our climate. We experience a similar thing in Glasgow, but it is not as pronounced. Dublin is a lot more familiar. Everyone seems to work really hard and have a really hyper mindset. It’s a bit like Manchester in that respect. People are smart in Manchester, but really going for it. We didn’t feel like we were really sticking our necks out by playing the National Concert Hall. We knew people would get it and go.” 

In addition to being so seminal, Autechre are also one of the most prolific electronic acts of all time. They’ve just released a whopping eight hours of music, The NTS Session 1-4, which they originally broadcast on the digital radio station NTS Live, which is based in London, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Manchester. Hot on the heels of Brian Eno releasing a five-hour long compilation album, Music for Installations, and Max Richter’s eight-hour piece Sleep, Autechre are also having fun with elongated lengths. 

“Brian Eno has always been an influence,” Booth says. “He gives you so many different ways at looking at things, in combining instruments, or how a track unfolds. He is never shy to try things out, and we’re a bit similar in that we’re not scared to surprise ourselves. Making mistakes is how you learn things. I only heard about generative music from reading an interview with Eno, where he talked about the concept, and we’d already been doing it to a point because we’re interested in incorporating uncertainty. We don’t do long, drawn-out ambient things, but we made a form of ambient music on the NTS Sessions, which came about after we did a DJ mix for them. They asked us to do a residency but we didn’t fancy putting together eight-hour DJ mixes. We realised we could make something of our own that could last eight hours. It was ambitious, but we gave it a go. We treated it like a Peel Session, just a giant one.” 

 

Peel

Indeed, the late John Peel was a committed champion and formative influence on the Rochdale duo. “John Peel pulled me away from hip-hop by playing Meat Beat Manifesto and Renegade Soundwave,” Booth says. “He showed me you could push things in whatever direction you wanted. He died around the same as John Balance from Coil, which was awful. Now there is a real void of tastemakers in general. All the best tunes took the piss a bit. There was always an element that wasn’t supposed to be there. People are scared now. They think you can only make a living if you toe the line, and there is a lot of line-toeing in music.”

Brown and Booth also cite authors such as Lewis Carroll and Roald Dahl as early influences from their childhood. Autechre are now regarded as one of a holy trinity of acts on the Warp Records roster, alongside Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada, who collectively influenced the direction Radiohead took on Kid A, and numerous other artists over the years. However, they don’t take such plaudits or praise particularly seriously.

“It’s very flattering, but we’ve taken from so many sources over the years that I don’t think we’re any more deserving than anyone else for any accolade,” Booth says. “I’m really reverent towards people like Mantronix, Gerald Simpson (A Guy Called Gerald) and Unique 3. There are people much older than us doing things that are far more interesting. We’re just small fry, really. We never had much equipment, so we had to be creative to make sounds. It all started from a frugal approach.”

The minimalist aesthetic of Autechre over the years, from their sleeve artwork to performing in the dark, could perhaps be construed as attempts to de-humanise electronic music. “No, it’s the total opposite,” Booth answers. “We love artificial things. Artificial means man-made and manufactured by humans. There is this notion that electronic music is not human because it is artificial. I think it is intrinsically human. I haven’t seen or heard of any other species who use computers. They are uniquely human things.”

Autechre play the National Concert Hall on Sunday, July 15th. NTS Sessions 1-4 is out now on Warp Records

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 3/27/2021 at 8:34 PM, Draft78 said:

It will be more than ten years since I went to a rave, and in the period in which I went I was not inside the movement but more than transversal, so I am the last one who has an interest in taking position, however I am not so sure about this generation gap, where once there was a revolutionary attitude and now the revival of conventions, I mean, here it is a few years ago, and it does not seem the reconstruction of a fashon club atmosphere (lol)

 

Seems like the usual blend of angry drunk teenagers trying to party, and stoned hippies trying to rave. 

I found it absolutely terrifying when the cops turned up at a rave once.  To be fair, they engaged peacefully to start with, they spoke to the DJs / entourage and told them that they were trespassing on private land and causing noise complaints, they needed to end the party now and get people to disperse.  

An hour later the party was still going and the cops then arrived en-masse dresses appropriately as per that video.  Suffice to say, we didn't have around long.  When twats start indiscriminately throwing bottles and ravers get caught in the crossfire, its no fun anymore. 


Rave's can be awful places.

Muggings, violence, awful drug abuse and overdoses from people who don't know when to stop, mass damage and littering to often natural / wild environments, fires, I have heard of people getting stabbed, girls being sexually assaulted.  Unfortunately raves can attract the pits of humanity.   Which is one reason why I have stayed clear for a long while now.  Maybe i'm just a boring middle aged twat now (yes)

 

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On 7/14/2021 at 9:28 PM, Soloman Tump said:

Seems like the usual blend of angry drunk teenagers trying to party, and stoned hippies trying to rave. 

I found it absolutely terrifying when the cops turned up at a rave once.  To be fair, they engaged peacefully to start with, they spoke to the DJs / entourage and told them that they were trespassing on private land and causing noise complaints, they needed to end the party now and get people to disperse.  

An hour later the party was still going and the cops then arrived en-masse dresses appropriately as per that video.  Suffice to say, we didn't have around long.  When twats start indiscriminately throwing bottles and ravers get caught in the crossfire, its no fun anymore. 


Rave's can be awful places.

Muggings, violence, awful drug abuse and overdoses from people who don't know when to stop, mass damage and littering to often natural / wild environments, fires, I have heard of people getting stabbed, girls being sexually assaulted.  Unfortunately raves can attract the pits of humanity.   Which is one reason why I have stayed clear for a long while now.  Maybe i'm just a boring middle aged twat now (yes)

 

Fortunately, I've never found myself in a shit like the one in the video, but I've seen enough fucking scenarios; the closer the party is to the city, so the easier it is to reach, the more colorful fauna it becomes. Slow motion stabbings, vans set on fire, calves in the mouth of a pit bull, snatching with sticks on the head: I'm not Snake Plissken, nope, and if I want to burn some synapses, specially today that I'm an old stoned, I get much better on the sofa

but I also remember cool situations. Things that wouldn't really happen on the sofa.

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Oh yes, I guess I should have also said that magic can happen at raves.  Sunrise with some rain and a rainbow; meeting cool folks that become friends; that TUNE; When you attract the right people.  Which is why a ticketed event with security can be appealing 😄

 

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I don't know about those illegal rave parties in UK and no offense here but UK people have a reputation of being the worst when they drinking, taking drugs and all that. 

In Sweden when it was rave party some people get caught by the police for smoking weed and the neighbors near the woods complained about loud music that's it! 

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