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NTS is the worst ae release in a while


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#26 Boxus

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 08:18 PM

i had a reaction kind of like this to elseq at first, just couldn't get that into it. it's clicked with me a lot more recently but still isn't one of my favs (i still can't get into feed1 for example, i just find it overwhelming and boring at the same time).

 

NTS i liked a lot more right away. not sure exactly why. it feels more playful and explorative - a wider variety of moods and tones. it's more rough around the edges in a way that reminds me a bit of quaristice (one of my favorite eras). and though NTS, like elseq, has several tracks that meander and don't really go anywhere (like t1a1, which i love nonetheless), it also has a lot of tracks that really seem to grow and evolve over their runtime, like tt1pd, violvoic, and xflood. and there's a real sense of album flow, in the individual sessions and in the collection as a whole. transitions often seem more deliberate and thoughtful (with exceptions.. like i agree the transition into nineFLY is annoying and weird).



#27 auxien

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 09:30 PM

As to the original post coax, I think you're wrong. A lot of your points could be said about much of their recent (elseq i'm looking at you) stuff, but really could be thrown at almost any Ae ever...as Spiral said, it's maybe still just new to your mind. That said, I don't think I disagreed with any of your criticisms in general, I generally prefer the denser, more structured/focused stuff and just straight up more contained/condensed tracks and albums...but also I think that AE_LIVE sets are absolute peak Autechre? The long-windedness of some Exai/elseq/NTS is not my cup of tea, but there's some really good stuff in there no matter. But also your holding up feed1 as an example for good sounds/mixing? Um, naw, methinks you need to reassess that one. :) I do think NTS may open up more for some over time... As you pointed out, there is some stuff in it worth revisiting that reveals new layers upon relistens, I think you may find there's more of this than it seems? Maybe not of course, I kept expecting that to happen for me with elseq and it just ain't there. sorta like you said, you hear it once and that's about it....that's elseq for me, of course. Some of NTS falls in this camp imo but much of it is still pretty interesting (especially hearing it via CD, it seems there's slight mastering differences to the digital? or I'm just hearing it in HQ in the car, unsure on this) and some tracks are just catchy as fuck.

 

I'll also say (probably said it in the NTS thread already) that I really think they're sorta losing some perspective in this Max world. Relistening to some Exai and Oversteps and AE_LIVE and elseq and of NTS over the last month or two, they're getting caught in some traps imo. They're still pushing the boundaries of their creative environment but I really feel they're stuck in doldrums in ways...listening to Oversteps today, so much of the sound-scapes and melodic timbre and effects and perhaps even the melodies themselves are all over NTS...and everything in between. Not just in the "Ae being Ae" sort of ways of any artist really hitting the same sorts of area you might expect, but really just comes across as stagnant in ways comparatively. That said, it's not 'bad' to work in a comfortable environment (especially one as complex as whatever the Max world they have built up)....I dunno, just random blabber, don't take anything I said here too seriously, even though I meant it all, sorta just stream-of-conscious.

 

 

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 

I thought I liked you sweepstakes

 

:)

 

Have you ever blasted it LOUD on some speakers? It's fucking visceral. It's painfully dense and rich and each sound is placed so strangely, bouncing around and such? It's a very unique experience, evokes some strange emotions for me. That's all subjective of course, but I think it's seriously one of their absolute best tracks, period. Top 5 Ae probably? Top 10 easily. It carries on in a very strange pattern drunkwalking from beginning to end but it's very much dark weird journey every time I hear it. Can't explain how very wrong your opinion is ;)



#28 Schlitze

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 09:57 PM

What's that? Auxien said too much?
He didn't say enough

#29 thehauntingsoul

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 11:13 PM

I'm very much enjoying NTS so far. As of now, I would say it beats out elseq for me, maybe not quite as good as Exai though.

 

I think there's two main things I would criticise:

 

  1. Too many of the tracks are almost completely lacking in progression, despite almost all of them being upwards of 10 minutes. Go peruse through any tracks of theirs from the last decade and as you skip around the track it's like several completely different tracks all woven together. Used to be the case if you played me a 2-3 second snippet of an autechre track I could tell you the rough timestamp. I think I would struggle significantly with most of NTS in that way.
  2. It feels just a tad too jammy. Like they just put a 16 step pattern on loop 4-8 times, and then switch to the next 16 step pattern, etc etc. Glos Ceramic is maybe the worst offender here. It feels like the patterns in some tracks are kind of just bolted together, without particular regard to a sense of flow or transition.

 

I don't necessarily mind jammy autechre, and certainly the track lengths are not the sole culprit here, as I would say Gonk Steady One does far more than it even needs to remain thoroughly interesting throughout. I think it's just that the tracks here are lacking a certain metamorphic quality, or perhaps to a certain extent lacking attention to detail. 

 

None of that is stopping NTS from being on constant rotation for me though.



#30 Zeffolia

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 12:08 AM

 

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

 

 

I don't think this at all, I think NTS takes longer to digest than earlier stuff because there is so much more depth in different ways.  I swear I hear really weird off tuned echoes that I've seen them talk about in interviews, but it takes a while to notice this stuff and I always forget where they are because the songs are too long and I'm high as fuck



#31 tneuvm

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 12:18 AM

Yeah I don't get the sense the that they've given up on depth or easter egg-type stuff at all. In a bunch of the nts interviews Sean was talking about how much he's into "deep mixing" or whatever.

 

Too many of the tracks are almost completely lacking in progression, despite almost all of them being upwards of 10 minutes. Go peruse through any tracks of theirs from the last decade and as you skip around the track it's like several completely different tracks all woven together. Used to be the case if you played me a 2-3 second snippet of an autechre track I could tell you the rough timestamp. I think I would struggle significantly with most of NTS in that way.

 

Seems like a fair number of people are in agreement with you here, but I always find this sort take on later ae kind of baffling. To me the number of Autechre tracks that sound like "several completely different tracks all woven together" is relatively low. (At least, tracks with more than two distinct sections.) I tend to think of them as having more of a 'stay on it' mentality--to the point where I'd think of total lack of marco-level changes as being their signature compositional approach. Listening to Confield at first, for example, I was really thrown off by how a lot of the tracks seemed to go absolutely nowhere compared to the 'ABCD'-type progressive structures in a lot of Aphex, Venetian Snares, etc. I mean, I can understand if you feel they've pushed their usual approach a bit too far, but in terms of "progression" it's not like they've ever been Yes or Tool or something...

 

 

zzzzzzzzzzz

v


Edited by tneuvm, 23 September 2018 - 12:29 AM.


#32 usagi

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 12:21 AM

zzzzz



#33 AJW

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 05:19 AM

I hope they continue where they left off with Exai, which was the last proper album release? And present their new ideas within this format, saving the jammy/spacial experimentation and whatnot for live shows where these kind of ideas can really shine.



#34 coax

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 05:33 AM

--to the point where I'd think of total lack of marco-level changes as being their signature compositional approach. Listening to Confield at first, for example, I was really thrown off by how a lot of the tracks seemed to go absolutely nowhere compared to the 'ABCD'-type progressive structures in a lot of Aphex, Venetian Snares, etc.

 

this is one of my main gripes, I think older tracks have a macro structure while nts does not. tracks like parhelic triangle and uviol are repetitive but they have certain moments that break the flow and add a certain 'climax', it's more contained and obvious what the easter eggs are. all of the other tracks ive listed in the thread are like this too. also have to say, it's not like i only like ae tracks that have a macro structure, but compare nts to bine, the trees, WNSN and others and they still don't sound as good. it's like this:

 

 

 

 

I don't think this at all, I think NTS takes longer to digest than earlier stuff because there is so much more depth in different ways.  I swear I hear really weird off tuned echoes that I've seen them talk about in interviews, but it takes a while to notice this stuff and I always forget where they are because the songs are too long and I'm high as fuck

 

 

You might be right, i also forget where those noticable parts are, where in previous tracks i always remembered. gonk tuf hi had some moments yesterday but then i have issues finding them again. im not sure if this is better or worse overall, its still less interesting than earlier releases.

 

I'm very much enjoying NTS so far. As of now, I would say it beats out elseq for me, maybe not quite as good as Exai though.

 

I think there's two main things I would criticise:

 

  1. Too many of the tracks are almost completely lacking in progression, despite almost all of them being upwards of 10 minutes. Go peruse through any tracks of theirs from the last decade and as you skip around the track it's like several completely different tracks all woven together. Used to be the case if you played me a 2-3 second snippet of an autechre track I could tell you the rough timestamp. I think I would struggle significantly with most of NTS in that way.
  2. It feels just a tad too jammy. Like they just put a 16 step pattern on loop 4-8 times, and then switch to the next 16 step pattern, etc etc. Glos Ceramic is maybe the worst offender here. It feels like the patterns in some tracks are kind of just bolted together, without particular regard to a sense of flow or transition.

 

I don't necessarily mind jammy autechre, and certainly the track lengths are not the sole culprit here, as I would say Gonk Steady One does far more than it even needs to remain thoroughly interesting throughout. I think it's just that the tracks here are lacking a certain metamorphic quality, or perhaps to a certain extent lacking attention to detail. 

 

None of that is stopping NTS from being on constant rotation for me though.

 

well then you hit on key things i feel too. i dont have a single track that stands out to me as "i _have_ to play this over and over!" right now

 

As to the original post coax, I think you're wrong. A lot of your points could be said about much of their recent (elseq i'm looking at you) stuff, but really could be thrown at almost any Ae ever...as Spiral said, it's maybe still just new to your mind. That said, I don't think I disagreed with any of your criticisms in general, I generally prefer the denser, more structured/focused stuff and just straight up more contained/condensed tracks and albums...but also I think that AE_LIVE sets are absolute peak Autechre? The long-windedness of some Exai/elseq/NTS is not my cup of tea, but there's some really good stuff in there no matter. But also your holding up feed1 as an example for good sounds/mixing? Um, naw, methinks you need to reassess that one. :) I do think NTS may open up more for some over time... As you pointed out, there is some stuff in it worth revisiting that reveals new layers upon relistens, I think you may find there's more of this than it seems? Maybe not of course, I kept expecting that to happen for me with elseq and it just ain't there. sorta like you said, you hear it once and that's about it....that's elseq for me, of course. Some of NTS falls in this camp imo but much of it is still pretty interesting (especially hearing it via CD, it seems there's slight mastering differences to the digital? or I'm just hearing it in HQ in the car, unsure on this) and some tracks are just catchy as fuck.

 

I'll also say (probably said it in the NTS thread already) that I really think they're sorta losing some perspective in this Max world. Relistening to some Exai and Oversteps and AE_LIVE and elseq and of NTS over the last month or two, they're getting caught in some traps imo. They're still pushing the boundaries of their creative environment but I really feel they're stuck in doldrums in ways...listening to Oversteps today, so much of the sound-scapes and melodic timbre and effects and perhaps even the melodies themselves are all over NTS...and everything in between. Not just in the "Ae being Ae" sort of ways of any artist really hitting the same sorts of area you might expect, but really just comes across as stagnant in ways comparatively. That said, it's not 'bad' to work in a comfortable environment (especially one as complex as whatever the Max world they have built up)....I dunno, just random blabber, don't take anything I said here too seriously, even though I meant it all, sorta just stream-of-conscious.

  

 

 

 

 

feed1 is a beast imo and also has a great composition, it really builds and is awesome, one of my top ae tracks (although that list now has dozens of tracks). i think the sound works, it's very tightly designed and also in your face.

i put elseq up there because of the great tracks on it. feed1, c16 thread, latentcall, eastre (great atmos), mesh cinereal, freaulaeux and others, which eclipse anything on nts both emotionally and structurally i think, not to mention all their older albums, nts can't even touch'em... it's not like i love every track on elseq still. i can't point to a _single_ track on nts that clicks right now in the same way even though there are tracks which seem promising, but i'll have to wait and see.


Edited by coax, 23 September 2018 - 05:35 AM.


#35 auxien

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 06:20 AM

What's that? Auxien said too much?
He didn't say enough

best-death-scene.gif

u sure damned did ninja starred me there m8

#36 ftrgrphr

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 06:52 AM

Ae are in the front seat when it comes to creativity and sound - and as a fan, I'm thankful they are still sounding fresh and releasing music and touring. That's so much more than most of these early 90's Warp heroes - which many have gone dull and/or not frequently releasing quality stuff. NTS being pointed out being "this and that" by fans - and "lacking quality" - are at least not hearing what I'm hearing. So I'm good...  :nacmat: :beer:



#37 whylessness

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 07:02 AM

agreed tbh

Spoiler



#38 kirm

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 07:30 AM

Yeah I don't get the sense the that they've given up on depth or easter egg-type stuff at all. In a bunch of the nts interviews Sean was talking about how much he's into "deep mixing" or whatever.

Too many of the tracks are almost completely lacking in progression, despite almost all of them being upwards of 10 minutes. Go peruse through any tracks of theirs from the last decade and as you skip around the track it's like several completely different tracks all woven together. Used to be the case if you played me a 2-3 second snippet of an autechre track I could tell you the rough timestamp. I think I would struggle significantly with most of NTS in that way.

Seems like a fair number of people are in agreement with you here, but I always find this sort take on later ae kind of baffling. To me the number of Autechre tracks that sound like "several completely different tracks all woven together" is relatively low. (At least, tracks with more than two distinct sections.) I tend to think of them as having more of a 'stay on it' mentality--to the point where I'd think of total lack of marco-level changes as being their signature compositional approach. Listening to Confield at first, for example, I was really thrown off by how a lot of the tracks seemed to go absolutely nowhere compared to the 'ABCD'-type progressive structures in a lot of Aphex, Venetian Snares, etc. I mean, I can understand if you feel they've pushed their usual approach a bit too far, but in terms of "progression" it's not like they've ever been Yes or Tool or something...
Agree with this. To me they have always been about slowly evolving tracks rather than stuff that jumps about all over the place.. their recent longer form stuff has just seen them develop this further.

e0 is good example on NTS that to some might seem to just be pretty with little progression,but there is so much going on and depending on which bit you follow how you hear the track changes and morphs (well it does for me anyway!) If you dont get this try listening just as you fall to sleep.

I do find in interesting though to hear why people don't like NTS, so fair play to the detailed OP (but your still wrong!)

Seriously though seems to me that generally NTS seems to be one of the best received Ae in recent memory both on here and the wider press.

Edited by kirm, 23 September 2018 - 07:32 AM.


#39 Rotwang

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 07:30 AM

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.


Weird. I find most of four of seven boring, but the ending is possibly my favourite part of the whole sessions.

#40 cloud capture

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 09:29 AM

This is a weird one.  I've only listened to the original airing of nts sessions live.  Even though there were tracks that I loved, I doubt I'll ever listen to it again.  The whole experience was captured in a moment of time for me, and I don't want to ever disturb that experience from where it's settled in my memory.  It was lovely.  And a pretty cool shared moment with some of you.



#41 sweepstakes

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 09:33 AM

Have you ever blasted it LOUD on some speakers? It's fucking visceral. It's painfully dense and rich and each sound is placed so strangely, bouncing around and such? It's a very unique experience, evokes some strange emotions for me. That's all subjective of course, but I think it's seriously one of their absolute best tracks, period. Top 5 Ae probably? Top 10 easily. It carries on in a very strange pattern drunkwalking from beginning to end but it's very much dark weird journey every time I hear it. Can't explain how very wrong your opinion is ;)

To be fair, I don't think so. And maybe I'll try that but I'm pretty sure I'll need a chaser. I just can't figure out what it's trying to be or say so I can't think of a mood where I'd want to hear it. It makes me see old street lights, moth wings, dusty glass, night time, but unlike most Autechre I don't see how I can relate to the scene at all. Every time I listen I half-expect a gravelly-voiced narrator to softly grumble a G-rated description of a spooky old house.

 

Weird. I find most of four of seven boring, but the ending is possibly my favourite part of the whole sessions.

I could see that. I guess I like how the long form tracks are an opportunity to set a mood, and the listening can become more like gazing out on the horizon than trying to process an onslaught of details and events like it is with AE live. Hence listening while working on the computer - I don't want to laser focus on the track, I want just enough going on to propel me forward. 

 

What's that? Auxien said too much?
He didn't say enough

Agreed! I always enjoy his Autechre contributions even though (or maybe because) we usually have diametrically opposed opinions.



#42 Bulk VanderHooj

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 09:40 AM

 Hence listening while working on the computer - I don't want to laser focus on the track, I want just enough going on to propel me forward. 

 

 

 

I'm going to try this today. I've got 10ish hours of schoolwork ahead of me today so the time works out almost perfect.



#43 ambermonk

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 10:43 AM

I'd give four of seven 4 stars out of 7. Because the first four sevenths of the track are pretty dope but then it kind of peters out throughout the last three.

K I'll shut up now



#44 tneuvm

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 01:31 PM

this is one of my main gripes, I think older tracks have a macro structure while nts does not. tracks like parhelic triangle and uviol are repetitive but they have certain moments that break the flow and add a certain 'climax', it's more contained and obvious what the easter eggs are. all of the other tracks ive listed in the thread are like this too. also have to say, it's not like i only like ae tracks that have a macro structure, but compare nts to bine, the trees, WNSN and others and they still don't sound as good. it's like this:

I'd probably distinguish what I meant by "macro level" (really obvious prog rock type changes) from the more subtle kind of sectionality or gradual development that I think you're talking about here. Still not sure I completely understand how/why you think the latter is less common in NTS but then again I still haven't given most of it a proper listen yet :shuriken:

 

To me they have always been about slowly evolving tracks rather than stuff that jumps about all over the place.. their recent longer form stuff has just seen them develop this further.


e0 is good example on NTS that to some might seem to just be pretty with little progression,but there is so much going on and depending on which bit you follow how you hear the track changes and morphs (well it does for me anyway!) If you dont get this try listening just as you fall to sleep.

For sure, immediately though of that track too. Their tracks often move in ways that feel closer to acid house, record scratching, etc. than any of the more "sophisticated" music they're supposedly similar to (not saying they're not sophisticated, just talking in terms of their musical preferences). All about finding the most interesting ways to "drift" sonically.


Edited by tneuvm, 23 September 2018 - 02:04 PM.


#45 darreichungsform

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 02:28 PM

I hope they continue where they left off with Exai, which was the last proper album release? And present their new ideas within this format, saving the jammy/spacial experimentation and whatnot for live shows where these kind of ideas can really shine.

Yeah, they should save ideas like all end for live shows lol



#46 Stickfigger

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 05:06 PM

 

I hope they continue where they left off with Exai, which was the last proper album release? And present their new ideas within this format, saving the jammy/spacial experimentation and whatnot for live shows where these kind of ideas can really shine.

Yeah, they should save ideas like all end for live shows lol

 

 

Lol.

 

To the OP though, when NTS is referenced as the worst release in a 'while', what were the other worst releases?



#47 custom knob

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 05:11 PM

bqbqbq is the only one I really can't get on with

i've found i'm enjoying/understanding elseq more since nts too

 

mesh cinereal in particular, and feed 1 and elyc6 0nset

 

i feel like i'm drowning in good music lately



#48 AJW

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 03:25 AM

 

I hope they continue where they left off with Exai, which was the last proper album release? And present their new ideas within this format, saving the jammy/spacial experimentation and whatnot for live shows where these kind of ideas can really shine.

Yeah, they should save ideas like all end for live shows lol

 

lol yeah, that would really be something ^^

I dunno, at this point I'm just scramblin for reasons for what's up with this release since I can't seem to dig it like I do other releases. It's buggin me. Another hairbrained idea is that this long form, less compacted nature of NTS (and on elseq a bit too) means that you really do need to spend more time with it than you did with the album releases in order to get any real feeling of cohesion and flow from it (I've not through-listened either yet).

Or maybe they're just "deep mixing" so deep that I need to buy a new sound system and position my speakers correctly and at a certain volume to hear all the stuff I'm not hearin :S 

 

 

bqbqbq is the only one I really can't get on with

i've found i'm enjoying/understanding elseq more since nts too

 

mesh cinereal in particular, and feed 1 and elyc6 0nset

 

i feel like i'm drowning in good music lately

 

Same here, the long tracks especially elyc6 and cinereal sound less imposing and way more cohesive and enjoyable to me now, the old "new album knock on effect." Another release may be what's needed for me to fully appreciate NTS.



#49 coax

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 10:12 AM

I'd probably distinguish what I meant by "macro level" (really obvious prog rock type changes) from the more subtle kind of sectionality or gradual development that I think you're talking about here. Still not sure I completely understand how/why you think the latter is less common in NTS but then again I still haven't given most of it a proper listen yet :shuriken:

 

 

Right, to me macro is also the small easter eggs in say Perhalic Triangle or whatever, not and not necessarily huge shifts. It's a bit subjective but I feel like on NTS there aren't these pronounced things. Like compare t1a1 to tankakern, uviol or osla for n. t1a1 is a really long track with a lot of easter eggs potentially, while the former tracks are shorter and have maybe 3-10 of those easter eggs, and those might have a bigger impact for me then. Plus they also introduce them as new elements while t1a1 introduces less if no new elements or too many of them. Long and jammy vs concise and structured

 

 

Lol.

 

To the OP though, when NTS is referenced as the worst release in a 'while', what were the other worst releases?

 

 

They have like no bad albums but the one I feel is the most sparse is Untilted, even though I love the atmosphere and visuals I get with it. Visuals for nts is more nature/pastoral/farm on several tracks which I can dig, haven't made up my mind on how much that makes up for the lack of interesting tracks to me so far though

 

 

I do find in interesting though to hear why people don't like NTS, so fair play to the detailed OP (but your still wrong!)

Seriously though seems to me that generally NTS seems to be one of the best received Ae in recent memory both on here and the wider press.

 

 

I think the idea that this is one of the best received ae in recent memory is kind of bad considering how good elseq is, and L-event EP as well is epic.

It does feel like a step down right now but my perception changes so we'll see.


Edited by coax, 24 September 2018 - 10:13 AM.


#50 jaderpansen

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 11:01 AM

nah