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


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One more question. Have you ever had sounds in your head you haven't been able to "get out" musically, that you haven't been able to recreate?


not sounds so much as whole tracks

usually after some drugs trying to get to sleep i will get whole full morphing tracks going on, but i can never remember specifics, like dreams

i dunno about recreating

Yeah me too, esp. falling asleep threshold, the morphing unfolding instant music thing.

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For both of you I suppose - What's it like to meet another person who really understands and complements your aesthetic sense? Did the creative potential between you two click immediately? And what is it like to work with said person for over 25 years in a serious productive capacity? Do you both find this easier and more encouraging than simply working alone - quality control but also a dialog back and forth? I'm jealous...


Sean, you spoke about architects and their awful egos briefly and I recall you had some architectural training. In what way do you see your music composition as a construction of space? Do you think of yourself as an architect of sorts? The cover of Draft brings to my mind Lebbeus Woods, and even early Cavity Job graffiti style lettering reminds me of 80s-90s Morphosis diagramming. Other electronic musicians have also studied architecture. Kouhei Matsunaga and Jeff Mills spring into my head. Mills especially has an ability in tracks like "Paradise" to create an almost static room of sound. Art historians have tried to connect architecture and music since the ancient greeks; do you think electronic music has brought itself closer in conceptual thought to architecture and space construction than previous musical styles? Is that interesting or important? lol I dunno - it's either you guys or maurizio when I'm at the drafting table - I think of these two art styles as one and the same.


Hey, dr lopez, how did you survive through arch school? Yesterday I decided I'm dropping out, I'll be working on a degree in philosophy, but I'm very frustrated because I'm not too bad at designing actually, and I wasted a few years, also I come from a working class family and university has basically ruined us, it's just nerve wracking and it's got me nowhere.


Ae, what do you think about architecture and music, not in the sense that music could be a construction of space, but in the sense that designers in general, not just architects, can have different ways of installing an order in a given place, or even inventing orders from preexisting conditions, and music can be structured in similar ways? I mean, the different approaches to form, and the many possible kinds of orders behind form, imply lots of things and you can sort of make a big deal out of them, so how do you approach structure? I mean, scrap the part about architecture, I just wanted to ask about form and structure.


I agree that architects are full of shit, by the way...


Also, could you tell me something about 4-op FM synths? I know it's a silly question (at least it's not as pretentious as the others) but I'm really attached to my DX21...



yeah the 4-op model lends itself well to some kinds of modelling and i think its cos of the number of surfaces and their diff harmonics roughly correlating with a physical object


structure i dunno i just try to make things that appeal to me stylistically, a bit like sketching out some graffiti (i never tried any other kind of design or drawing much, i got pretty into messing with letters, maybe the rules of form appealed to me)

music is a bit like that, at least the kind of music i like that has usually some sense of movement in space to it, it's usually fairly restricted structurally and i like flexing the structures but not quite breaking them, it creates a kind of tension

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During the Oversteps warehouse gig in London I swear I heard the drums from "Lcc" at one point. My mate passed out in the skanky portaloo's at the back after Haswell's insane set and missed the entire show. Lol at him.


I was also at Bloc festival so heard a massive difference in sets across the Oversteps tour; Bloc was very bass heavy with very little melodic content (or was that just the soundsystem?), Bocking St. was lush and full spectrum (ala the awesome Domino recording). Do your live shows evolve organically as you tour between places, do you respond to how audiences react, and do you perform differently to different nations?


Basically, i'm really interested in your live shows and hope for more. 2010 was a long time ago.


oh yeah that bloc gig was terrible

some people think that if you just fill a room with f1 that it will sound good, that was one of those times

altho tbh we never really sound very good on f1

but that was horrible. there wasn't a lot we could do with it

do you look forward to the day when Benn Jordan makes Diet Coke versions of your music?


as long as he does the beats on his guitar i don't care

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This may be an annoying question, but I'm curious. Do you feel that you had to work and put effort into finishing your music at any time, particularly with incunabula and tri repetae when things were less well accepted?


I'm wondering if there is ever tedious work in the creative process.


not really

but i don't mind spending ages fiddling with something to make it good, that's how i learn stuff

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A few questions here.


What are your favorite kinds of tea? (Mine are Japanese Green Tea and Lapsang souchong <- now that I think about it that looks like a track title lol)


Do you guys like Autumn?


Is there a dog barking in IV VV IV VV VIII?


Why is Theme of Sudden Roundabout so catchy and also why is the melody so fucking weird?


Any cool tips or things I can do in Logic? Been using it for many years but was wondering if you guys have found some weird stuff that can be done within it.


Your guys' favorite fruit?


Will you name my Machinedrum and Axiom 61 keyboard? (Jealous of Limpy :< )

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Have the recent net genres (witch house, future bass, vaporwave, etc) caught your interest at all, and will they possibly (or have they already) affect your music? How do you feel about them? Have you ever thought about trying to do things with the artists from it, like Fatima al Qadiri or Vektroid? Or even Oneohtrix Point Never?

i got diff opinions on all them genres tbh, some aspects of vaporwave make sense to me, others don't

witch house makes me laugh. it's like, there was a time when that would have just been one record, but anything can become a bandwagon now, so many people producing


i like 0pn a lot



i noticed you all put a sam tiba song in your radio mix earlier this year. what do you guys think of the music coming out on marble records (if you're familiar with them enough to say)?


i'm not really

but i like that record for not being squarely in any genre - and still being highly functional and stylish

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Just want to give a massive thanks to AE for all the music over the years. Very cool to do this!

Sean, in reply to your comment about Grant / Rephlex, what do you make of Rephlex' recent output and the strategy behind it (or: do you like or follow any of the recent Rephlex artists/releases)? How secretive does a label/artist need to get to let it be just about the music? Is there a point behind it that you can identify with on the theme of it being ´just about the music´ and how do you act on that idea (for example, around Exai and L-Event there was only 1 or maybe 2 interview, a lot less then with previous releases I think?)


And because you put a Necrophagist track years ago in a mix: black metal or death metal? Any faves? What do you prefer about it, the complexity, atmosphere/feel or melodic side of metal?

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after 20 years of insane music crafting, is this the best videoclip for newbound?




yes, how do you feel about people excessively dancing to your music, and girls in particular, seeing as this seems to be one of the rare documented occasions?

also, how would a modern ae dance track sound like?

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who do u think is the funniest rapper? have u heard quelle chris yet hes good


do u think that a scene/concert/event being mostly full of dudes has an effect on the longevity of the 'scene' or whatevr?


it prob makes it last longer

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thanks for answering all these questions! this is great.


I'm curious, have you heard boc's early works like acid memories, hooper bay & play by numbers?


I read somewhere once, that soon after you first listened to 'twoism', you contacted them, which eventually led to them recording 'hi scores' for skam.

so I thought maybe you've heard some of their earlier recordings. If you have heard them, what did you think?

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" naivete" versus "maturity, straight reasoning" regarding production ?


i think the more you grow accustomed with production techniques, the more you lose a kind of simple approach to making music, which can lead to boring or overly intellectual music.


is it important for you, whats your opinion ?


if yes, how do you preserve an unsophisticated playfulnes?


keep moving out of your comfort zone

soon as you feel like something is easy, change things to taste

follow taste where it leads you

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More a stray observation than a question but the lovely knocking sound in P.:NTIL was an early 'wow' moment when getting into your music.

After a few listens it made me think of an aggravated parent/neighbour banging on the bedroom door/wall - in a desperate effort to get you to lower the volume - added to the rhythm. I now can't shift this almost nostalgic image. I can't imagine it was intentional but I just thought I'd put it out there :)

Edited by Panoptic Sweep
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