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AAA - Ask Autechre Anything - Sean and Rob on WATMM!


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Just want to say a big thank you to Sean and Rob for making themselves available for this! So very cool!


I've been a fan since '96, and I still look forward to every new release. Managed to catch ya'll live in Austin in '01, but if you put on a Houston show, I'll catch you there as well...


Question - prolly been asked, but I haven't made it through the whole thread as of yet...Do you have any plans for an audiovisual release, akin to Animal Collective's Oddsac? Tangentially related, I recall a video installation website (Rutterford?) from about two-three years ago that featured some music that certainly sounded like your work, but perhaps an alternate take or remix. Any details on this track/video?

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Guest locusvulpes

So like the rest of the folks here thanks for doing this Sean and Rob, love what you guys do. My questions:


- What advice can you give to people who are trying to get their music heard? There is a lot of noise out there and it's not easy to get noticed by any of the labels, they appear to have a lot of material thrown at them and rarely seem to respond so it's hard to know if they even get around to listening to your tracks or not. Or maybe my tracks are total crap which is a strong possibility :)


- Do you ever record "found" sounds yourselves and use them in tracks or do you just procure them from elsewhere (sound libraries, sounds from web sites, etc)?


- What do you wish you could do with the software that is out there right now? Is there any kind of major functionality that you wish existed or do you think the sky is the limit with what is out there today?

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my initials dream state ideas on Draft 7.30, written at some point in 2003, for your records if needed:


  1. XYLIN ROOM: Ahhhh, the Ae sound, I think they played a
    version of this song live when I saw them here in Austin,
    it's got this back and forth type rhythm, with some sort of
    industrial plumbing being pummeled, and then of course the
    trademark click track sped up and slowed down to a rhythmic
    perfection, comes in with this rhodes type sound,
    the rhythm starts to disentegrate, goes back and forth,
    stability to chaos

    02. IV VV IV VV VIII: starts with a demonic sound, into a
    futuristic clash between a drum beat, a keyboard melody,
    and some sort of creature like sound, like a gremlin being
    crushed, very unstable rhythm, is on the edge of falling
    and it does, and comes back, the drum rhythm sounds like a
    break they fucking chopped to all hell and made it not
    what it was, Ae ambience ends it

    03. 6IE.CR: this is what all the fuckers who thought Ae
    would never doing anything accessible again have been
    waiting for,
    bad ass fucking rhythm, a delayed rhythm track battling it
    out with a ambient one, this track.........yeah, this is
    like Ae and Aphex having sex, moves into a breakdown of the
    original rhythm with a beautifully fucked harpsichord
    sounding track
    and a trademark Ae synth sound riding on top, beautiful
    melancholy strings

    04. TAPR: Mommy, I'm scared, these guys are trying to hurt
    me, Chaos with a motive, sounds like a fucked piano track
    being slammed onto tape, with Ae rhythms clicking away
    behind it, crazy

    05. SURRIPERE: oh yes, Philip K Dick has awoken in his grave
    and thanked Booth/Brown for writing this one,
    sounds kind of like something off of SAW2, amazing tribal Ae
    rhythm with an ambient synth on top, riding the rhythm like
    a spacecraft on it's way to Jupiter, this is as accessible
    as Ae wants it to get, but just when you thought it was
    a fucked rhythm comes in, definitely one of the coolest
    tracks on the album, at the ends Ae morphs into Kay/Del
    and then back again to their alien selves


06. THEME OF SUDDEN ROUNDABOUT: loose rhythm, very unstable
at the beginning, out of the chaos comes a break that is all
fucked, ambience, click track(sped and slowed), an eerie
piano melody, very unstable, but then.........something
comes in that reminds of a giant walking through a forest, a
keyboard track that is very pwerful and constant

07. VL AL 5: the atmosphere of some bar in a different
galaxy, dirty, skanky rhythm, with an ambience
a contant rhythm that is very loose, pulse width madness
playing on top and in the background, fucking amazing,
some chopped ass sample comes in, almost like a TV station
that in being interfered with by an alien force,
beckoning us, ends with the sample chopped

08. P.:NTIL: another one of the more accessible ones, like
a Machine Drum track remixed by Ae, a very hip hoppish beat
but with fucked up click tracks bombarding it, a keyboard
melody and a distorted melody battling it out,
reminds me of alien cultures having conversations, this
track is the fucking shit! can the rhythm stay together,
sounds like it can't, and then a crazy fucked up string
melody comes in like a dulcimer looped, alien ass shit,
the rhythm falls apart

09. V-PROC: has a steady rhythm at the beginning, with
reverbed ambience on top, and then comes in with this
break beat that's all choppy but stable, sounds like Perfuse
on a lot of acid, fucking great, Ae and Devine having sex,
nutty samples(very playful yet loud and in your shit) going
back and forth on top of the beat

10. RENIFORM PULS: another Philip K. Dick wet dream, the
future, Ae rhtythm at it's finest, reverbed high pitched
like twinkling stars, a wierd ass melody, and then some LP5
sounding ambience comes in on top of the rhythm,
the rhythm starts to become hectic but not abrasive, just
changes, tribal Ae rhythms duking it out with the ambience,
oh yes, this is the way to the end, staticky

thanks for this thread guys, a fan for life.


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Autechre, can you listen to some of my track and tell me what you think? (this isn't a demotape request, this is just a loving, autechrian-forumulative fan, asking my idols to take a listen) i understand if you don't have the time. Thank you autechrian gods on high. thank you.

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Guest dragon feces

hi sean/rob,


have you tried pair programming where you write code together? i've heard software developers often prefer it to coding alone since you get outside perspectives and ideas.


also, do you think musical instruments need to be tactile to some extent? earlier in the thread sean mentioned that he uses midi controllers some, but does that type of interface play a large role in making your tracks? some people talk about going into a really streamlined workflow when coding, so i'm curious to know how you would compare making music with software to playing a traditional instrument.

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I know its pretty early for trainspotting electroacoustic tracks, but here's the first 30 seconds of the Gescom live set from 2002 that i mentionned yesterday, its really good but wasnt sure it was legit, similar to the Minidisc.

is Gescom behind this ???



Endless thanks for IDing the Beaumont Hannant tune yesterday, it's bloody good !

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my first question got lost in the watmm abysses, I was wondering if anyone approched you to make a documentary about Autechre...

And do you have a song/track you love that you feell a bit ashamed to love it . and What is it ? Thanks for all this !

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Yeah, you mentioned it somewhere in this thread already. Well, this is a one incredibly lucky track mix-wise then. I mean even in the context of your whole discography, this is the one that is the most stunning mix-wise for me. And you have constantly great mixes so it means something. Big up for this one.



i'll consider what u said, i never thought of that track in that way before


You can add Drane to the "perfect mixes" list, that track causes me problems whenever it comes on because my mind just stops until it finishes.

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Guest thisfieldisrequired

Since you said only 1/3 of the tracks are actual collaborations...


1. Who of you two wrote Bladelores ?

2. Who makes the most tracks out of you two ?

3. How would you describe your differences in style ?

4. Can your relatives say "this track is definitely Rob" or "this track is definitely Sean ?"


thanks !

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I like all of your albums more or less, but Draft 7.30 is something special. Probably because I listened to it in the dark on headphones while on acid and every little click and fart was perfectly placed and felt like I fell into some weird futuristic machine city morphing constantly. A great experience.


My question is did you do something differently when making that album. I remember reading somewhere that it was "sequenced by hand", whatever that means and that it was the result of several "drafts", the 30th being the one that became the album. Is this true? Care to elaborate on the process how you did it?


Acid or shrooms?


Once again, big props for spending the time on answering and hanging out here the past week. Hoping you will pop in occasionally in the future with comments and thoughts. Much appreciated. Big hand to Joyrex too for making it possible.

Edited by azatoth
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You mentioned earlier that Oversteps incorporated the use of Markov chains to generate algorithmic melodies and that the themes of the album also related to the concept of memory. I think you also said that the artwork for this was more fully a tDR initiated idea than on other albums, so maybe cover image doesn't relate heavily to these themes.. but, in the case that it does:


The ink drawing for the cover appears like a variation upon the style of Zen circle painting known as Ensō. The brushed ink of the circle is usually done in one movement and symbolises a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. I was wondering if your use of the "memoryless" properties of Markov chains was to covey this sense of "the expression of the moment".

Edited by wabby
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I think you mentioned a soldering iron earlier. ever experimented with circuit bending? I understand most of your recent stuff is done via computers and generative processes. any happy/interesting accidents involving this? and I don't just mean through tinkering in max, but like, you spilt your coffee, smoke-spewing out of your machine, glitch-inducing accidents that you decided to keep

yeah once we accidentally spilled Vimto on one of our SK's, which caused it to bend itself really. it stayed like that.


we're not that into trying out the best gear 'to' bend, but when we started before there were road maps for this, we would find new things (latent potential if u like) in the small setup we had, notably the other SKs, RSD10s was another

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Guest bitroast


Say, Sean and Rob, do you guys have any questions for WATMM?

at last, 106 pages BEFORE ANYONE ASKED



oh hey not true !!

i totally asked on page 26 (( altho it was sort of tucked between my main question and a thank you*u* message )).




autechre pls, feel free to ask watmm a question.

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