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

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Hi guys, thanks for this and welcome to the AE subforum. I hope you like the decor.

 

Answer me these questions three:

 

Travel back in time with me for a second, you're the younger versions of yourselves, the year is 1994. A strange, vaguely familiar looking man approaches you (see pictured below)

 

 

7QXiwHY.jpg

 

 

He speaks in a northern accent and says "hey m8, heres a tape check these tunes out". After the initial horror subsides you put the tape in your Sony Walkman (with Smash Hits magazine stickers on it) and play the tape, it plays a collection of tracks assembled from Confield, Draft, Untilted and Exai. How do the younger versions of yourselves react to this music do you think? Do you enjoy it or think it's a little too out there?

 

 

Also you played Hearn St car park in London on the Quari tour in 2008. This was really coincidental for me as I got a job around the corner there a week before you played. Do you remember this gig? The sound was incredible, it's the best I've heard you guys live (Bloc 2010 was a bit shit due to sound). This isn't really a question I guess, I just found it novel that you played in a car park with your own setup.

 

 

What do you think of my ae subforum moderating? I like to think I'm firm, but fair. I do my best to keep vagrants out and am thinking of introducing uniforms here soon, thoughts?

 

 

(In all seriousness, nice to have your presence here guys, keep up the great music <3<3<3)

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Do you guys have any background in music theory at all? I always joke with my friend, who knows music theory, to tell me the time signature of some of your songs.

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How about Mark Fell's Composing With Process PodCast?

 

in the upcoming second part of the first episode they will play a track by Sean Booth called Horizon

 

31:44 Sean Booth 'Horizon', 2004 (20 min)

'Horizon' is a generative piece composed in the BBC BASIC programming language. It was composed for the rand()% generative internet radio station in 2004 but was never broadcast. The aim of the piece was to use as little code as possible and be interesting enough to hold the attention.

 

Where is it?

 

oh yeah

basically we're exclusive to warp, but we can do stuff with mates as gescom (but we can't do solo stuff or use any other names, particularly our own names)

mark just didn't know so he put my name, and we couldn't put it out then even if he changed the name.. it was my fault for not saying

happened w/kouhei as well but that was already produced when i found out (oops)

 

This seems ridiculous

 

You're one of Warp's top acts and they can't give you a little bit of freedom?

 

 

they pay us for it, and it wasn't too important at the time we negotiated it

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you mentioned earlier that you use markov chains as a method for generating things...

while one could apply these to sequence basically any data, i guess they can be especially useful for melodic/modal and rhythm transforms...

 

that jazz-solo-like (for lack of a better word) melodic interplay in irlite (get 0) around 3:00 - 3:50ish, is this an example where you used the chains to generate the notes, prominently?

 

dunno, the way the melody moves in irlite somehow strongly reminds me of this lush piece by Miroslav Vitous:

 

 

 

 

you dig? hear/feel any relation?

i recommend to check out this record if you don't already know it....

 

Not markov in that particular case, and i get how u can see the connection there.

 

I like the sound of this, hadnt heard it before thanks, will check out on proper spkrs later :)

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Would you ever rerelease Quaristice Versions or Quaristice.Quadrange.ep.ae on vinyl? I am sure a lot of people would buy it

 

are you? based on what?

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I love the "EPs, 1991-2002" box, but the collector in me is a bit disappointed that the Basscad EP isn't complete (it's missing the beaumont hannant and seefeel mixes). And I'm also a bit miffed by the fact that EP7 was spread over two discs, instead of keeping it on one disc as I assume it was intended.

 

 

Why were some Basscadet mixes left out? Why was EP7 split like that? Were those your decisions, or was is Warp's decision and you had no say in the matter?

 

 

Also, the OCD filetagger in me is confused about the Garbage EP. Originally the tracks were named with numbers (Garbagemx36, PIOBmx19, etc...) But on the EP compilation box those numbers are left out of the tracknames. Was this a mistake, or a conscious decision?

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We spoke yesterday about the tracks you sent to coil that have been archived. Also mentioning that chiastic slide has been getting some spins lately as well. I love that 97 vibe you guys had going, is there any other unreleased stuff archived from that era that may see the light of day?

 

yeah there are some bits, i dunno about releasing it tho

maybe i suppose, never say never

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i think you might have missed my earlier question about headphones preference - what headphones would you recommend for listening to your music? does it matter a lot to you or do you prefer listening to your finished pieces on a pair of decent speakers?

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- Sean or Rob, my UC-33 midi controller is still alive after 10 years of intense use (seriously, i was pretty sure it would be my first piece of gear to die, but it won't). Could you give it a name ? :)

 

your uc-33 is now called adrian

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Do you start tracks by loading midi files of tracks you like and start to manipulate until they sound like you like them?

Do you take melodies of tracks you like and change them?

 

no

no

so what exactly do you mean in this interview when you say "modifying what existed"? Sampling?

 

"At this stage we weren't really thinking about making music that was our own. What we did was modifying what existed. We didn't really think about ownership of the music either. It was a few years later, when someone said, 'Oh, these tracks are good, are they yours?', that we recognised that we'd almost stopped making sounds that were recognisable. It seemed as if we had been in a grey area for ages, and then suddenly we were aware of actually creating music and playing it to other people, and they were saying it was ours. I think these congratulations satisfied our egos so much, we decided the music was ours!"

 

 

yeah, we started out doing pause button mixes of other people's tracks and then that turned into using samplers and drum machines, eventually we stopped sampling so much

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How about Mark Fell's Composing With Process PodCast?

 

in the upcoming second part of the first episode they will play a track by Sean Booth called Horizon

 

31:44 Sean Booth 'Horizon', 2004 (20 min)

'Horizon' is a generative piece composed in the BBC BASIC programming language. It was composed for the rand()% generative internet radio station in 2004 but was never broadcast. The aim of the piece was to use as little code as possible and be interesting enough to hold the attention.

 

Where is it?

 

oh yeah

basically we're exclusive to warp, but we can do stuff with mates as gescom (but we can't do solo stuff or use any other names, particularly our own names)

mark just didn't know so he put my name, and we couldn't put it out then even if he changed the name.. it was my fault for not saying

happened w/kouhei as well but that was already produced when i found out (oops)

 

This seems ridiculous

 

You're one of Warp's top acts and they can't give you a little bit of freedom?

 

 

they pay us for it, and it wasn't too important at the time we negotiated it

This still seems a bit weird to me. You can't do solo stuff under different names? It's only Gescom? I mean I understand them having rights to the "Autechre" name, maybe even having rights to all your stuff that you did together and without anyone else, but not being able to do solo stuff seems a bit ridiculous to me. idk maybe I just don't understand the music industry. Is it that if you pressed the issue they'd probably let you but you just haven't wanted to yet?

 

Also, the only piece of hardware I own is a cheap keyboard that I use as a MIDI controller, but please don't name him, he's insecure about that kind of thing.

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Was the snare rush in Doctrine from Incunabula tongue-in-cheek?

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which one is your favorite programming language? (apart from Max/MSP I guess)

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Can you guys elaborate on how you feel out the structure of a track? Like how do you decide on the intro, and what elements to bury away, which ones to tease at throughout the track.

 

Also what's the one track you think took the most amount of effort to finish? Any tracks that stand out in your mind as being particularly frustrating to pull off?

 

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

 

i dunno we just get a feeling for what's better and go there really, sometimes things occur to us but in terms of narrowing down why we make choices it gets harder the closer you are to it i suppose. it's like when you're a kid and you realise you can keep asking 'why?'

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Is Max/Msp the perfect audio software for you?

If not what are the features or the concepts that miss?

Edited by Cornphlex

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Guest Pennywise

I don't have any musical equipment, can you name my toaster?

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In regards to Japan-only Autechre bonus tracks:

 

- Do you mind them being included at the tail-end of an album, especially if you have put a lot of consideration into the running order/length of the album 'proper'?

 

- Is there any specific criteria for the bonus tracks, or is it more a case of "this was knocking around in the 'current' folder at the time we were working on this album, let's use that"?

 

- Some of these tracks are very well regarded outside of Japan, certainly '18 (keyosc)' is a fantastic piece in it's own right. Will we ever see them released domestically somehow, or are they forever lost to international licensing only?

 

really it's just the fact that CDs are so expensive there that they need something exclusive, otherwise everyone buys the import

 

as far as putting them at the end goes, i dunno why, it just seems like the place that will fuck up the album the least

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Should I open that sealed Ventolin 2x vinyl I just bought?

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"so what exactly do you mean in this interview when you say "modifying what existed"? Sampling? "

 

prolly mean like they were modifying ideas from other trax from other people that already existed in the patterns they were making

 

 

 

 

 

yeah that too to a point, and taking established forms, things like that

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What's your favorite album(s) from this year? Also any other music you've been digging recently would be much appreciated

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What tracks are you proudest of in terms of complexity and attention to detail?

 

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

 

 

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How do you resist (or do you not even feel) the temptation to take the best, most catchy bits in your (newer) songs and repeat them? Any time I try to make a calculated, irregular, experimental song I have this nagging impulse to add a pop element into it, even though it's sometimes more rewarding to listen to meat and potatoes songs instead of sugary ones.


Also, how do you feel about imitators? Do you see yourself climbing up a ladder or sitting on top of a hill and kicking away any who dare challenge your supremacy? Or do you encourage others to regurgitate ideas they've gotten from you, provided it isn't a wholesale rip-off? How would you even define a rip-off of your music, when your music exists (sonically and theoretically) in opposition (or ambivalence) to established kinds? Striving for novelty can be an arduous, fruitless march. I feel uncomfortable yet very accomplished whenever I make a song that reminds me of your sound. I'm the guy who handed you the "Homage to Autechre" CD outside a concert in Seattle in 2008.


One more question: How do you feel about the possibility of completely machine-generated music in the future? Would A.I. have any need for music or art, and if so, would it even be intelligible or translatable in a way that is meaningful to the human experience?


Finally, thank you for making 6ie.cr. That song sounds like an evil computer trying to eat me.

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I don't have any musical equipment, can you name my toaster?

 

lol

 

i'm just gonna read, as i've got my sunday-slightly-pissed head on....I don't want to start being the drunken idiot in the forum. you know what I mean

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My wallet is from 1998, I think.

Think of yourself as being in that year and put an Autechre name to it. Think of my wallet like being in LP5, if that makes any sense. It is matte black.

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1. can you name a specific track where you thought 'we've reached another level!' and maybe hi-fived each other in the studio while popping and locking?

 

2. do you guys push yourselves to explore 'unconventional' melodies? say someone creates a simple catchy pop hook- do you mess with it so its more subtle and perhaps less immediate? imo, I would say that the early albums were more explicitly melodic.

 

3. do you ever go back to old stuff and think 'aahh i wish i used a different snare sound'? I would imagine its inevitable with such detail-oriented music.

 

1. lol another level. i mean nah but we do look at each other sometimes with that bateman pursed lip face when a good bit's on

i mean just select any track at random, we're always doing it

 

2. nah we don't deconstruct that much, we tend to build things up these days - rather than taking normal things and altering them

 

3. not really. the tracks are sort of whole things by now it's hard to separate it out, it would be like getting scissors out on your family photos

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