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Autechre - SIGN 16.10.20


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16 minutes ago, Ivan Ooze said:

it's only a day old toaoaod, just think about that for a second before claiming autechre album dissapointing on a fliggin idm forum

Agreed, though history has proven this sort of comment par for the course.  In fact, I'd argue almost everything posted in the last 24hrs might easily be confused as cut and paste from any past ae release.  Which is precisely why I've held off making any sort of grand, sweeping generalizations; my ears simply haven't listened to anywhere near the necessary numbers of cycles to speak intelligently about this new release.  No fun that, I know, but I'll bet my lunch money  A) most everyone making some grand proclamations for or against SIGN, will eat their words at a later date B) that SIGN is a strong album in it's own right even if I can't yet peg where it falls in overall pecking order.

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alco review by alco:   this is the new "autechre" album by them, the brothers. it's called "sign" which is short for "signs." i believe this is an m night shaymalan (or whatever) reference a

the autechre brothers. "the signs" in 2020. october. i forget the date. i'm meeting up with them, the "boys" of autechre. sean, the one who thinks its sick to make beats super wacky is smoking a cigar

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Enjoyed my first listen. Track 3 and 4 got me into a cosily ominous trance. Track 6 felt like I was looking at a sprawling city at night from a skyscraper terrace. Closing track is lush on lush. It's nice to have a little mellow gem like this following NTS. In a way feels like their Tomorrow's Harvest. 

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I will agree this is a very sad album, which is very fitting considering the state of global affairs ATM.  I typically go to music for its energizing properties and almost instinctually avoid melancholy music, so it will be interesting how SIGN comes off when the world around isn't in such a shit state.

I just finished listening to r cazt and LCC queued up right afterward.  Never has LCC sounded so much like a pop song.  LOL.

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the only tracks that don't click with me are au14 and th red a Oo

r cazt is the most soundtracky - traditional thing they've ever done i think. 

psin gives me 90s gescom vibes

and i just have to love esc desc, especially the beginning and ending. although its the first track i remember from them that seems like it can get 'worn out' like hearing a pop tune over and over again. so nice tho

si00 just has an interesting atmosphere and feeels nice

sch mefd has a great atmosphere and sounds so ilike that

metaz form8 is melancholic i would say, and really nice

m4 lema = no comment

 

 

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1 minute ago, dingformung said:

It's not a "sad album".

And it has nothing to do with "the state of global affairs ATM".

The latter point is certainly conjecture on my part.  The former is how the album strikes me; bully if you feel different.  I'll concede your view point; I can't count how many times I've been annoyed at people who describe music as 'dark' that I find to be uplifting, etc.

 

YMMV and all that cliched crap.

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al i can say is I realy like it and it sounds amazing on my stereo, i wanna listen again tommorrows. i also think it must be great to trip on

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ive listened to it on computer speakers, decent headphones and my sound bar so far. Next is car when i go to my friends house tonight. which i guess will be half of it the way there and half back

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i like it. but i love the first track. some of the others feel like roads we've been down before, not that it's a bad thing but that first track really feels new

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I'm in the dunny taking a dump now... But I'm about to mowe the lawns and put on my headphones for hearing protection playing sign at max volume. 

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Although i have to say in addition to the above, this album isn't like a warp speed advance of music or anything crazy innovative ofc, but i am very soft nowadays and haven't even listened to music for a couple years much and so I don't have the forward momentum as much.

But I do remember the years after confield, waiting for draft, then came untilted, then quaristice, and then eclipsing with oversteps, as each record sounded completely different and new and I was totally into it. it was a crazy period tbh.

Then came exai and i sort of felt like it didn't have the same momentum, i started to hear the same sounds somehow, and sort of similar with elseq and nts, but in retrospect exai, elseq and nts all have their own sound production wise i think, and this one does as well. even though we hear similar sounds on a lot of the records, if you play a few seconds of each track on each album, they all sound different still.

so in general im with others i cant compare or place SIGN yet, but i mean i really like all the tracks ive listed so far, and the idea of a 90s-ish ambient synth epic thing is great

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This certainly scratches that moody itch that we had glimpses of in the 16/18 sets. It's also mostly ambient, something that still points to my theory that this and the coming "green" are possibly solo impersonate each other LPs.

The only complaint is that I wish some tracks were longer and/or had more defined codas. Maybe this will change with more listens, but man, they really spoiled us with Elseq and NTS, no?

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Users should be able to post their o'er & under whelms freely. For most of us, the implicit truth is that we love anything from these guys, and compared to their last 3 releases this is more of a samey throughline piece and less buffet for all. Exaggerating 'disappointment' or 'divisiveness' or initial 'comparison' is cringe.

On one hand, I love that we got an album of this and have had this on constant spin since premiere, and the last time we had an album this airtight was arguably Untilted. On the other hand if this was Exai in 2013 I think you would have expected a few melts then. I think most seasoned ae listeners are also able to grasp their music quite quickly now (elyc6 0nset was the only grower exception for me in the last half decade, the rest you kind of get a handle on rapidly). Grower'chre still does happen (the amount of recent material in particular kind of demands pockets of belated appreciation), but it was more of a learning curve earlier in (our experience of the) discography, and our expectations aren't as beholden to the prior release given we know their existing scope and all its avenues.

Anyway, just taking a captain obvious for the team, carry on and just enjoy.

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I know this isn't a bad album - at least, not in the same way I knew immediately that Quaristice was a bad album (but that's just, like, my opinion man!)..  Infact it's probably a very good album.  But fuck me, it's grim..

All I'm hearing on this first play is funerals, confinement, nakedness, a hopeless struggle..  I felt a little trapped listening to it, if I'm honest - many of the fascinating sonic devices and designs they typically employ, are here stripped away completely, or muted and soured, sent on a downward trajectory..  Everything seems to be arranged to provoke a more visceral response.  It's a step outside my perception of what Autechre are about - maybe in a good way, but I didn't sense much in the way of a bright outlook, for sure.  I think it's been put together to listen to as a whole, from beginning to end, and would make less sense piecemeal.  I also get a strong impression that this was all the work of one person.

Perhaps I'm more inclined right now to enjoy music that doesn't lead me to think about all the shite and nonsense going on in the world right now.  Perhaps I'm not even really listening to this album and I'm just listening to myself.  Who the hell knows!  Anyhow, I probably won't get this one out to listen to again for a little while..

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Geez, I thought I wrote a pretty thoughtful post, but maybe people just skimmed it or I somehow misspoke. Either way - to recap or clarify my contributions so far: 

The "Polarized" bit was a joke (obv?) and an exaggeration for sure: there are always opposing sides when it comes to this stuff. I see that most people are actually pretty evenly mixed about this one.

"Disappointing" is a 100% subjective term and I meant it as nothing more than that 🤷‍♀️

And my whole point was about being aware that my relationship to this album will evolve over time and that as a dedicated fan I will give it that time and attention. 
 

Edited by toaoaoad
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5 minutes ago, toaoaoad said:

Geez, I thought I wrote a pretty thoughtful post, but maybe people just skimmed it or I somehow misspoke. Either way - to recap or clarify my contributions so far: 

The "Polarized" bit was a joke (obv?) and an exaggeration for sure: there are always opposing sides when it comes to this stuff. I see that most people are actually pretty evenly mixed about this one.

"Disappointing" is a 100% subjective term and I meant it as nothing more than that 🤷‍♀️

And my whole point was about being aware that my relationship to this album will evolve over time and that as a dedicated fan I will give it that time and attention. 
 

It wasn't directed at you, it was more defending than anything else.

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I also think this might be the work of one person. No evidence, just a weird strong hunch because of its sound. I think it’s Sean. Although the first and last tracks could be Rob. 😂

I also agree that, apart from the incredible first track, a lot of it feels like it has had the usual crazy Autechre sound-designs stripped away or rendered very subtle. It’s kind of super ‘synthy’ and upfront and raw for entire track durations on some tracks. Known (1) did eventually really grow on me (I’m embarrassed about how I first responded to that on here), and some tracks on here remind me of that wonderful piece, but they seem a bit more plodding-chordal and less layered, and kind of usually end how they begin. Some of this one makes even the NTS Sessions feel really full and dense and wild, let alone something like Exai. But Sign is dense in its own way - just not in that super layered and mutated way. Or something...

Anyway, I think we should be free to compare albums, discuss it in any way, and share thoughts. We all know we’ll change our minds. Variety in posts is very interesting. 

 

Edited by Lianne
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6 minutes ago, Lianne said:

I also think this might be the work of one person. No evidence, just a weird strong hunch because of its sound. I think it’s Sean. Although the first and last tracks could be Rob. 😂

I also agree that, apart from the incredible first track, a lot of it feels like it has had the usual crazy Autechre sound-designs stripped away or rendered very subtle. It’s kind of super ‘synthy’ and upfront and raw for entire track durations on some tracks. Known (1) did eventually really grow on me (I’m embarrassed about how I first responded to that on here), and some tracks on here remind me of that wonderful piece, but they seem a bit more plodding-chordal and less layered, and kind of usually end how they begin. Some of this one makes even the NTS Sessions feel really full and dense and wild, let alone something like Exai. But Sign is dense in its own way - just not in that super layered and mutated way. Or something...

Anyway, I think we should be free to compare albums, discuss it in any way, and share thoughts. We all know we’ll change our minds. Variety in posts is very interesting. 

 

Is there much haprsichord sound on the album? 😕

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11 minutes ago, Lianne said:

I also think this might be the work of one person. No evidence, just a weird strong hunch because of its sound.

Since they dropped the solo stats bombshell (and "how do you know we haven't" made a solo record) imaginations have gone wild but that should be tempered with this (from the SFJ interview):

“We’d get in touch and it would turn out we were doing the same kind of thing, without even talking,” Brown said. “I’m not sure we could do it in the same room now. But we’re often thinking the exact same thing.”

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1 minute ago, auxien said:

it's all harpsichord

“The piano is beautiful but it’s dumb,” Booth told me. “It separates the artist from the string.” 

The clear implication here is that the harpsichord is ugly but intelligent, and you can get right in at them strings 

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