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NTS is the worst ae release in a while


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#1 coax

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 03:18 PM

it will sound overly harsh but yes, I think NTS lacks the depth and the compositional quality that earlier ae had.
There are several problems, including lack of sound quality, good compositions, good climaxes, a lot of cheesy ambient,
and no single track I can point to as a 'blockbuster' track that I want to go back to and listen to a lot.
 
No track has the mindmelting puzzling difficulty of earlier ae. I find that every track sounds exactly how I imagined they
would after taking a break since the first listen. On Elseq and previous releases many tracks didn't make sense until several listens.
This 'difficulty' is gone on NTS. Osla for N, feed1, latentcall and os veix3 all are much better in all dimensions than any nts track,
just to pick random examples. I listen to NTS now and there is almost nothing. 
 
Four of seven, clustro casual and ninefly are the single most interesting tracks to me, as they are original-ish for ae and relatively fresh.
column thirteen, glos ceramic and tt1pd all have the the signs of blockbuster tracks but the two latter are too straightforward without a payoff, which makes column thirteen one of the top tracks on there.
This 'straightforwardness' is a big problem to me. feed1 and latentcall are relatively 'straightforward' but they have a much better composition. those elseq tracks also have traces of all the previous ae tracks that have this form like irlite, osla for n, ilanders, tankakern, parhelic triangle, uviol etv, with a good 'payoff' and composition that makes me want to relisten a lot. nts has none of this.
This is the most accessible ae release since the mid 90s I would argue and it suffers from it.
 
Regarding the 'cheesy ambient' bit, the tracks are pretty, but they feel a bit derivative and almost like they don't belong. this includes 'all end', even though bladelores is cool. they don't have anything new to offer i think and as such are a slog to get through. 
The cavernous ambience of quaristice and the weird gamey/baroque/wahetevr ambience of oversteps is way more interesting.
 
last part is just the sound quality itself. it has a softer more "synth patch"-esque sound, and not the more complex sound of elseq/etc. 
I don't know exactly how to explain it other than each sound sounds thinner and less full.
 
so overall, and I'm very open to my mind changing on this, but I'm not sure it will, nts to me is a kind of unfinished jam that doesn't work in the same way as earlier stuff. 
i love ae but i just had to write it, they are my #1 and I don't want to sound so harsh :P

Edited by coax, 22 September 2018 - 03:19 PM.


#2 hello spiral

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 03:25 PM

this happens every time. Give it a couple of years.



#3 coax

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 03:38 PM

this happens every time. Give it a couple of years.

 

Well I can hope... It feels different this time but who knows



#4 Schlitze

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:01 PM

This is like when I can't tell the difference between you and caze. Are you the deeper thinker one?

#5 coax

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:07 PM

This is like when I can't tell the difference between you and caze. Are you the deeper thinker one?

 

lol no idea what you're talking about



#6 darreichungsform

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:10 PM

most of your points are highly subjective so I guess there is not much to say about them on my side other than that I disagree but I think your point about the sound quality being bad is clearly and quite objectively bullshit


Edited by darreichungsform, 22 September 2018 - 04:12 PM.


#7 coax

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:23 PM

most of your points are highly subjective so I guess there is not much to say about them on my side other than that I disagree but I think your point about the sound quality being bad is clearly and quite objectively bullshit

 

well, I think objectively feed1 and latentcall have a fuller sound than anything on nts, unless you disagree? it's hard for me to make a statement about what is objective or not but I do feel that it is very different from previous releases. how we value that difference is harder. and yes, the points are subjective, but we can still talk about what's different and not different, if you disagree that nts is different from previous releases than its gonna be hard to have a discussion though



#8 manmower

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:42 PM

I think it's their best in a while for reasons that are like positive interpretations of the ones you mentioned.

 

Lots of groovy tracks, ambient, out of character stuff that "doesn't belong", and it instantly made elseq sound almost boomy.



#9 Bulk VanderHooj

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:51 PM

It's easily my least fav of theirs. :shrug:

 

xflood is ace though.



#10 ambermonk

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 04:51 PM

I honestly prefer NTS to elseq. Much more accessible in terms of overall rhythmic flow I thought. I dunno, it just sounded less restrained to me, like the boys weren't afraid of making something silly this time around.



#11 Bulk VanderHooj

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:00 PM

I think the AE_LIVE, Else-Q, and NTS sessions are all somewhat comparable in a way - all sound like the chre' used a similar setup or approach or whatever, each set of releases sounds to my ears at least as being gradually more automated. 

 

And incidentally I rate them in that order - AE_LIVE > Else-Q > NTS sessions. 

 

Diff strokes/diff folks I guess. 


Edited by Bulk VanderHooj, 22 September 2018 - 05:01 PM.


#12 coax

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:18 PM

I think it's their best in a while for reasons that are like positive interpretations of the ones you mentioned.

 

Lots of groovy tracks, ambient, out of character stuff that "doesn't belong", and it instantly made elseq sound almost boomy.

 

Aha fair enough! I wouldn't say boomy as negative for all the tracks, because it really packs a mean punch on the right tracks.

 

 

I honestly prefer NTS to elseq. Much more accessible in terms of overall rhythmic flow I thought. I dunno, it just sounded less restrained to me, like the boys weren't afraid of making something silly this time around.

 

Agree that it is probably less restrained, doesn't go to the same heights as elseq though I think... Tracks like 9 chr0 and icari kind of click with me though, very micromovement / M62-ish, which seems more complete now than before. Also the bass on tt1pd /might/ be able to carry the track, since it's so good with all the rest of the sounds, but for the longest time I felt like it missed something. very unrestrained tho

 

I think the AE_LIVE, Else-Q, and NTS sessions are all somewhat comparable in a way - all sound like the chre' used a similar setup or approach or whatever, each set of releases sounds to my ears at least as being gradually more automated. 

 

And incidentally I rate them in that order - AE_LIVE > Else-Q > NTS sessions. 

 

Diff strokes/diff folks I guess. 

 

Comparable but I think elseq is at least mastered very different which makes it sound different, not sure on the actual production techniques


Edited by coax, 22 September 2018 - 05:23 PM.


#13 diatoms

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:20 PM

I remember

 

nineFLY:)



#14 sweepstakes

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:24 PM

I think four of seven and l3 ctrl are total "blockbusters", although the ending of the latter is kind of shit. It sounds like you could use a good (weeks/months) long break from NTS.

 

However...

 

No track has the mindmelting puzzling difficulty of earlier ae. I find that every track sounds exactly how I imagined they

would after taking a break since the first listen. On Elseq and previous releases many tracks didn't make sense until several listens.
This 'difficulty' is gone on NTS. 
...
This 'straightforwardness' is a big problem to me ... [older tracks have] a good 'payoff' and composition that makes me want to relisten a lot. nts has none of this.
This is the most accessible ae release since the mid 90s I would argue and it suffers from it.

I agree and it's a pattern I've noticed in their latest stuff. I kind of feel like they just don't do Easter eggs anymore, or if they do they are so hidden that I'm incapable of finding them. They're still my #1 too but I think the way they make tunes has fundamentally changed and that kind of stuff doesn't really interest them now. I feel like NTS is both more relaxed/unadorned and has a greater sense of urgency to it in a way, but that's interesting in another way.

 

I had a similar feeling shortly after Oversteps came out. I was disappointed in the direction they were going in, I think they even acknowledged in an interview that they expected backlash for the "plinky plonky" stuff. Then Move of Ten came out and I thought it was kind of silly but it grew on me and made me more OK with Oversteps although I still don't love either of them.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that AE's catalog is a very long and winding road, and there's such an incredible amount and diversity of material. Just because you're not into the release du jour doesn't mean the next one won't knock your socks off. And if you go back to the oldies you might discover something you forgot or even never noticed before.



#15 Schlitze

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:25 PM

Diatoms do you remember when this were less restrained and restraining and restrainment were go to adjectives?

#16 coax

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:27 PM

I remember

 

nineFLY:)

 

:))



#17 diatoms

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:32 PM

 

Diatoms do you remember?

 

What if  I  told you, Schlitze:)



#18 Schlitze

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:38 PM

Do you remember a time when things were more restrained and less subjective, diatoms.
What's go to word did you use in the 70's and 80's?
I'm guessing stuff like "Cowabunga"
And yet here you are...here you are.

#19 coax

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:38 PM

I think four of seven and l3 ctrl are total "blockbusters", although the ending of the latter is kind of shit. It sounds like you could use a good (weeks/months) long break from NTS.

 

However...

 

No track has the mindmelting puzzling difficulty of earlier ae. I find that every track sounds exactly how I imagined they

would after taking a break since the first listen. On Elseq and previous releases many tracks didn't make sense until several listens.
This 'difficulty' is gone on NTS. 
...
This 'straightforwardness' is a big problem to me ... [older tracks have] a good 'payoff' and composition that makes me want to relisten a lot. nts has none of this.
This is the most accessible ae release since the mid 90s I would argue and it suffers from it.

I agree and it's a pattern I've noticed in their latest stuff. I kind of feel like they just don't do Easter eggs anymore, or if they do they are so hidden that I'm incapable of finding them. They're still my #1 too but I think the way they make tunes has fundamentally changed and that kind of stuff doesn't really interest them now. I feel like NTS is both more relaxed/unadorned and has a greater sense of urgency to it in a way, but that's interesting in another way.

 

I had a similar feeling shortly after Oversteps came out. I was disappointed in the direction they were going in, I think they even acknowledged in an interview that they expected backlash for the "plinky plonky" stuff. Then Move of Ten came out and I thought it was kind of silly but it grew on me and made me more OK with Oversteps although I still don't love either of them.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that AE's catalog is a very long and winding road, and there's such an incredible amount and diversity of material. Just because you're not into the release du jour doesn't mean the next one won't knock your socks off. And if you go back to the oldies you might discover something you forgot or even never noticed before.

 

Aha, i actually love oversteps. i also found especially some of the latter half of oversteps very difficult, but the atmosphere really clicked with me and now i love almost all the tracks. however several of oversteps tracks stood out to me as replayable immediately, while others were difficult as fuck, which happened to a much lesser degree on nts. It might happen with nts later. And yes, first half or so of l3 ctrl is great and has stuff like 9 chr0 and icari does ('micromovements' / easter eggs) which i like. I think the best example of this is M62 from move of ten, which is very subtle but is still one of the best examples for me of 'easter eggs'


Edited by coax, 22 September 2018 - 05:40 PM.


#20 diatoms

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:44 PM

 

Do you remember Cowabunga, diatoms?

 

What if  I  told you, Schlitze:)

 



#21 manmower

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:47 PM

I remember
 
nineFLY:)

 
:))

 
LM96q.gif

#22 sweepstakes

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:52 PM

Aha, i actually love oversteps. i also found especially some of the latter half of oversteps very difficult, but the atmosphere really clicked with me and now i love almost all the tracks. however several of oversteps tracks stood out to me as replayable immediately, while others were difficult as fuck, which happened to a much lesser degree on nts. It might happen with nts later. And yes, first half or so of l3 ctrl is great and has stuff like 9 chr0 and icari does ('micromovements' / easter eggs) which i like. I think the best example of this is M62 from move of ten, which is very subtle but is still one of the best examples for me of 'easter eggs'

I grew to enjoy many, maybe even most, of the tracks on Oversteps, but the bigger picture really rubbed me the wrong way. krYlon in particular I still really dislike and the fact that so many people said it was their favorite track on the album made me feel like it just wasn't my party. 

 

NTS and a lot of their recent stuff seems difficult in a more visceral way, like rather than some delicate structure or clever juxtaposition they're really into these gut-wrenching, ear-piercing moments, or just combinations of frequencies that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. There's still a lot of emotion and masterful aesthetics but it seems to be less about beauty at the moment and more about physical sensations. Like nineFLY freaks me out every time... it's like if Squarepusher's Circular Flexing was a great white shark with giant bat wings. But it comes right after g 1 e 1 which is one of the most poignant and tender harmonies they've ever done (while still being pretty fucked up!).

 

I actually love all of l3 ctrl, I think it's one of the most brilliant things they've done in a while. I messed up the phrasing above. I just don't like the ending of four of seven, in fact I made an edit of it so that I can play the first 2/3 of it seamlessly and it's great for working on the computer.



#23 Schlitze

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:58 PM

^ snowflake alert
Can we get a cup of water in here. He's rigging out

#24 coax

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 06:03 PM

 

Aha, i actually love oversteps. i also found especially some of the latter half of oversteps very difficult, but the atmosphere really clicked with me and now i love almost all the tracks. however several of oversteps tracks stood out to me as replayable immediately, while others were difficult as fuck, which happened to a much lesser degree on nts. It might happen with nts later. And yes, first half or so of l3 ctrl is great and has stuff like 9 chr0 and icari does ('micromovements' / easter eggs) which i like. I think the best example of this is M62 from move of ten, which is very subtle but is still one of the best examples for me of 'easter eggs'

I grew to enjoy many, maybe even most, of the tracks on Oversteps, but the bigger picture really rubbed me the wrong way. krYlon in particular I still really dislike and the fact that so many people said it was their favorite track on the album made me feel like it just wasn't my party. 

 

NTS and a lot of their recent stuff seems difficult in a more visceral way, like rather than some delicate structure or clever juxtaposition they're really into these gut-wrenching, ear-piercing moments, or just combinations of frequencies that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. There's still a lot of emotion and masterful aesthetics but it seems to be less about beauty at the moment and more about physical sensations. Like nineFLY freaks me out every time... it's like if Squarepusher's Circular Flexing was a great white shark with giant bat wings. But it comes right after g 1 e 1 which is one of the most poignant and tender harmonies they've ever done (while still being pretty fucked up!).

 

I actually love all of l3 ctrl, I think it's one of the most brilliant things they've done in a while. I messed up the phrasing above. I just don't like the ending of four of seven, in fact I made an edit of it so that I can play the first 2/3 of it seamlessly and it's great for working on the computer.

 

 

How can you dislike krylon?! it's straight up beauty. :P And yeah I hear the physical sensations thing, it's a thing that i sometimes can get in some tracks and other times not at all. it does add a new dimension to the music to keep that in mind though



#25 sweepstakes

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 07:11 PM

How can you dislike krylon?! it's straight up beauty. :P 

aaaaahhhhhh I just CAN'T lol! It doesn't even sound pretty to me... it sounds like it's supposed to be pretty but it's just an explosion of arbitrary notes. There's a few tracks they've done since then that have a similar melody/harmony/mixing aesthetic that I think of as "Saturday morning cartoons" or "Nintendo 64" that just do nothing for me. Precious, neat, simplistic. It sneaks in on some tracks I love too (e.g. 0:48 - 1:58 of tac Lacora, lots of the 2015 live stuff) and I just cringe my way through it. Anyway krYlon is the epitome of that to me and I will probably always dislike it :P