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


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I've seen mentions of tracks being edited jams; are they recorded in multitrack for maximum editing possibilities or do you just work with a stereo mix? This is one of the biggest hurdles for me when I jam with others. Sometimes one of us would be on to something awesome and then the other comes in with something that totally destroys everything. Do you guys just generally record long enough stretches of everything so that editing out a mistake/unwieldy experiment won't matter too much?

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I've seen mentions of tracks being edited jams; are they recorded in multitrack for maximum editing possibilities or do you just work with a stereo mix? This is one of the biggest hurdles for me when I jam with others. Sometimes one of us would be on to something awesome and then the other comes in with something that totally destroys everything. Do you guys just generally record long enough stretches of everything so that editing out a mistake/unwieldy experiment won't matter too much?

with jams, on a good part find a kind of holding pattern which the others can come in on, then they do the same, and u come in with mods to your thing etc etc…after a while if its all going well things can get risky and more interesting as u know what is likely to work well. its ok if u have enough time to space it out and keep good bits to trim back down, or trash the stuff thats not working.

 

if u mean real jamming like all at once then u need to get a quicker feel for things. i mean me n sean have been jamming since day one so we can fit quite well.

 

the unwieldy bits are usually the fresh ones.

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Quoting isn't working for me at the moment, but I was asking what was the last released Autechre/Gescom track in which either of you scratched? I think there was some speculation about a track in Draft maybe, but it's been a while since that was discussed and my memory is shit.

 

What time signature is Fold 4, Wrap 5 in? Just regular 4/4, eh?

 

Is Fol4 a fucked up version/call back to Fold 4, Wrap 5?

 

Have you heard any of the fake leaks? If so, did you get a good laugh at my attempt at Ae impersonation on the tac Lacora fake? (here: http://ge.tt/70Z4ePt/v/o) Or is that sort of thing just an actual hassle for you guys to deal with every round of releases? (if so, sorry! we just like to have fun with it)

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what's your opinion on the increasingly loud & less dynamic range loudness wars? It seems like everyone wants to get a vinyl cut at 45rpm at the hottest level possible, making it actually difficult (bass causing needle jumps, etc) for someone with a normal low end turntable to play it instead focusing on a DJ with a properly weighted turntable.

I noticed EXai is at a comfortable volume but not overly loud, it also has a relatively conservative amount of bass (even for an autechre album).

edit: also what do you guys think of the Matmos philosophy of trading off 'concepts' each album where Martin defines the direction for one like 'Supreme Balloon' and Drew defines the direction for the other like 'Rose with teeth'. Have you ever done anything remotely like that?

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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I've seen mentions of tracks being edited jams; are they recorded in multitrack for maximum editing possibilities or do you just work with a stereo mix? This is one of the biggest hurdles for me when I jam with others. Sometimes one of us would be on to something awesome and then the other comes in with something that totally destroys everything. Do you guys just generally record long enough stretches of everything so that editing out a mistake/unwieldy experiment won't matter too much?

with jams, on a good part find a kind of holding pattern which the others can come in on, then they do the same, and u come in with mods to your thing etc etcafter a while if its all going well things can get risky and more interesting as u know what is likely to work well. its ok if u have enough time to space it out and keep good bits to trim back down, or trash the stuff thats not working.

 

if u mean real jamming like all at once then u need to get a quicker feel for things. i mean me n sean have been jamming since day one so we can fit quite well.

 

the unwieldy bits are usually the fresh ones.

Great reply, thanks!
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What time signature is Fold 4, Wrap 5 in? Just regular 4/4, eh?

 

I deconstructed it a while ago; it's 4/4 but a 6 (i think) bar pattern that slows down continually, doubling speed roughly in the middle. So it's like a shepard tone for tempo. (Correct me if I'm wrong guys, but my example file was pretty close :emotawesomepm9:)
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Have either of you used Cool Edit for your samples or compositions? There were some really wild things you could do with later iterations of the software, like burn stuff to cd's and scratch and sharpie-marker things onto the cd, and then have it extract the audio data directly off it to make some really garbled sounds.

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related to your reply to i believe it was awe's question about the NSA to which you said it (spying) was a necessary phase-

 

so in the nearish future when brain implants, ...etc.... able to compose tracks with our thoughts like raymond scott wanted to do?

 

nah

i don't know why everyone is focusing so much on the nsa

everyone's at it, all spying on each other

it's not like some nice neat pyramid, it's like a web

 

in the future we're gonna be so much more networked than this, even the concept of monitoring will be totally antiquated

 

what do you think of this quote by raymond scott

 

 

 

 

  • "Perhaps within the next hundred years, science will perfect a process of thought transference from composer to listener. The composer will sit alone on the concert stage and merely 'think' his idealized conception of his music. Instead of recordings of actual music sound, recordings will carry the brainwaves of the composer directly to the mind of the listener." —Raymond Scott, 1949

 

heh yeah, to be honest this was really what i was trying to get at with my question. i mean, the nsa stuff interests me but i was kind of joking with that part of the question. i was really more interested in just knowing how AE view potential future advances in things like interfacing with computers in new ways and if/how willing they would be to adopt some of these things that supposedly are going to be common but still seem kind of extreme to lots of people now, such as brain implants.

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it's a pretty cool quote from a bygone era of technology idealism, i don't hear many people making futurist statements like this these days pertaining to art. I spent about 3 hours in an iso tank once after a large 3-paper spliff and I had a very interesting experience where i felt like i was composing music in real-time in my mind, but it wasn't just a mind's ear kind fo thing I was actually having auditory hallucinations. Funnily though it was really cheesy very over-produced music, with hints of infected mushroom, like Autechre gone psytrance dub. Maybe subconsciously i want to be a psytrance musician, playing repetitive music to people on too many psychedelics

ultra curious what role if any psychedelic drugs have played in Autechre's music. I know they like smoking weed, cause I've seen and heard of them (well Sean specifically, i don't want to focus on rob because he's now a dad :) ) partaking in copious amounts (at various shows)

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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First off big thanks for taking the time to open up for us. I have been a huge fan since Incunabula. I actually had dinner with you guys in Melbourne Australia back in 95/96? You played an amazing set in front of maybe 20 people! Also saw you in 2010 in Melb :-) full house that time.

 

Anyway I find you guys to be one of the most unique electronic artists and the most advanced when it comes to composition. There have only been 3 times in your career where i thought, oh this track sounds heavily influenced by...and wanted to know if these artists did inspire the tracks.

 

Slip on Amber reminds me of Severed Heads

VLetrm21 from Garbage sounds like Arvo Part

Pce Freeze2.81 from Oversteps reminds me of Breathing in Fumes

 

If you do like Mego please check out VICMOD Records http://www.vicmod.net lots of great leftfield electonic artists there.

 

Thanks again for your time.

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Sean, I like your avatar. I never got a chance to play Flashback, but Out of this World/Another World was one of the my early games that left a lasting impact on me. Do you think you could do me the favor of choosing my new Avatar for WATMM? I would very much appreciate it.

 

Also, what games, if any, do you have very fond memories of playing?

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I think I can recall awhile back one of you guys said something about how hard it is to leave home because you always feel the need to produce stuff, but I was just wondering if there are any tracks of yours that come to mind that at least stemmed from somewhere besides the studio? I know I often find myself braindead in my studio space with so many options surrounding me - I need a change of scenery to influence the creative headspace now and then. Is this something either of you can attest to?

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Ghostface Killah has an annual 10 softest rappers in the game list. Do you think we could get an "Autechre's 'N' softest electronic music makers" list?

Or feel free to substitute "softest" with some other adjective to your liking. All in jest of course.

 

On a more serious note: you've both talked about starting out Autechre with very basic to no real understanding of music. Has that had any effect on communicating and working with other musicians/composers? Do you two have your own kind of "language" when discussing work, that doesn't transfer so well when conveying things to others Autechre might be working with?

Bonus question.

Have you sought out training for specific things since then? Possibly not music related, but still relevant to Autechre's output; I think Sean mentioned he went and learned some physics in this thread.

 

Cheers! You guys have been a huge inspiration.

Edited by rddm
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Guest cult fiction

This is amazing, you guys have more posts already than people who have been on here for years. This is the stuff of watmm legend. The mere existence of this thread should cause that watmm subreddit to simply vanish from the universe in embarrassment.

 

How do you guys feel about legowelt?

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1. do you like The Knife?

 

2. Sean, on Andrew Mckenzie's podcast you mentioned using phone apps like SunVox and Jasuto. Have you used these on any tracks you've released? Would you? Jasuto can do some mad things.

 

3. Which Tarkovsky films have you seen and which do you like best? I love them all but Mirror is a favorite, only slightly above Solaris/Stalker/Sacrifice. What do you think of Artemyev's soundtrack work?

 

4. I love mego too. What are your top mego albums?

 

5. Sean, the unreleased BBC BASIC piece Horizons sounds intriguing. I'd buy it as a digital ep from Warp/Bleep for up to $7-8 USD -- Can't you release it under the AE moniker? I'm sure Rob wouldn't mind.

 

6. Speaking of mego, do you also like fals.ch? Do you happen to have archived the free releases, my collection is missing some.. pm? Also what do you think of pxp - while(p){print"."," "x$p++} and Wavetrap stuff?

7. Do you like Popol Vuh? Which albums?

 

8. Can you recommend some gamelan music you like?

 

9. I can't afford Max/Msp - How do you like PureData? Are there things you're doing in max that would be impossible in Pd? Have you used it for anything in the past?

 

10. What's up with Xektes Sql - how was it made? I love it and it seems to be unique in your discog soundwise - more aquatic or submerged sounding.

 

 

Thank you both for taking the time to interface with your fans directly - this is way more 'social' than any of the usual so called social media. We really appreciate it.

 

ps. Can you name my friend here. Sorry :

 

post-2050-0-61943600-1383627545_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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