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Autechre - SIGN 16.10.20


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1 hour ago, Roo said:

An interesting comparison is that this month is the 20th anniversary of Kid A, which itself had a sister sessions album follow 8 months later. Those were both a new era departure for RH, and in the context of ae it was a key shout-out which nurtured a new audience. Kid A & SIGN both with the 4 letters.

Kid A brings back memories. The anticipation of where they were gonna go after Ok Computer and the sobering suprise that was Kid A. Such an autumny album, warm yet distant and subdued. SIGN also seems to have that wistful autumny feel to it. 

It's also ten years since Oversteps, which was similarly a relatively short release with more focus on chill than bangers. 

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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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Has the 2 album thing had any more confirmation? Hope its true but everyone keeps talking like its defo happening but what ive heard so far sounds bit tenuous

On the 2 album theory of them being "solo" albums was thinking in the  context of Ae this could just mean it was curated by one of them on their own. So like album with a tracks picked all by Sian and another with tracks picked all by reeb? sorry just adding to the pointless rumour mill there, but just occurred to me as a pissabolity!

   

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3 hours ago, yekker said:

psin AM :

 

I keep hearing this chord, cannot unhear:

 

 

to me it sounds like "behind the wheel" from depeche mode. it's not the same key, but i bet if you'd transpose it'd fit quite perfectly.

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Personally, although they were good, I almost NEVER returned to either elseq or NTS because they were just too long and noodly for me. This album takes the sound design of those projects and the live sets and makes a beautiful, emotional, compact album of imo some of the best AE material I have heard since Untilted. I didn't think they were up to making hour long albums anymore but I am glad they proved me wrong because that is how I like my AE the best. 

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I sat and listened through it for the first time on my big hi-fi today. There is enormous bass on some tracks that just holds. I mean frequencies start up and they barely stop or ebb, and the whole room has pressure.

Initial reaction is that I'm lukewarm overall because the tracks seem really static to me. They begin, and sometimes there's not even a section B they change to before the end. They're often doing largely the same thing after seven minutes, then they just stop. I know Autechre are all about repetition, but I guess if I compare this to either the middle period that some describe as the most composed, or the more recent sprawling/generative NTS mode, it's got the sound design and circling of the latter delivered in the presentation of the former (discrete tracks) but without the trajectory power or direction of the former. So maybe in the context of Autechre, I file it as a new mode.

Obviously a lot here love the lush synth sound, but that doesn't interest me much overall without more melodic development. I agree with the chap who said that when Autechre foreground this kind of thing, I don't think it's their strong point. My comment about wanting more development is why I don't think it's their strong point.

It's impossible to say I'm disappointed because I had no idea what was coming. Maybe I secretly hoped for a move towards the 'composed mode', given we're back to the what-fits-on-a-CD format. The inundation of hours and hours and hours of material that Autechre have kindly given us inbetween Sign and the last album of this size has probably hurt the element of surprise when Sign sounds as similar to the sound design in those hours. I mean my brain's always saying 'Oh yeah, I remember this little way of making a spray of beeps from this bit of NTS' etc.

Anyway, it's obviously great to have a new album and I look forward to this one wandering around in the pantheon over time. However, I would be very surprised if this one ever became my favourite. (And I will admit if it does!)

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anyone else hear a voice sample really heavily distorted in the back of sch.mefd 2 in the last half?  reminds me of gescom key nell voices.  hope im not hearing shit from the weed

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4 minutes ago, djimbe said:

I sat and listened through it for the first time on my big hi-fi today. There is enormous bass on some tracks that just holds. I mean frequencies start up and they barely stop or ebb, and the whole room has pressure.

Initial reaction is that I'm lukewarm overall because the tracks seem really static to me. They begin, and sometimes there's not even a section B they change to before the end. They're often doing largely the same thing after seven minutes, then they just stop. I know Autechre are all about repetition, but I guess if I compare this to either the middle period that some describe as the most composed, or the more recent sprawling/generative NTS mode, it's got the sound design and circling of the latter delivered in the presentation of the former (discrete tracks) but without the trajectory power or direction of the former. So maybe in the context of Autechre, I file it as a new mode.

Obviously a lot here love the lush synth sound, but that doesn't interest me much overall without more melodic development. I agree with the chap who said that when Autechre foreground this kind of thing, I don't think it's their strong point. My comment about wanting more development is why I don't think it's their strong point.

It's impossible to say I'm disappointed because I had no idea what was coming. Maybe I secretly hoped for a move towards the 'composed mode', given we're back to the what-fits-on-a-CD format. The inundation of hours and hours and hours of material that Autechre have kindly given us inbetween Sign and the last album of this size has probably hurt the element of surprise when Sign sounds as similar to the sound design in those hours. I mean my brain's always saying 'Oh yeah, I remember this little way of making a spray of beeps from this bit of NTS' etc.

Anyway, it's obviously great to have a new album and I look forward to this one wandering around in the pantheon over time. However, I would be very surprised if this one ever became my favourite. (And I will admit if it does!)

I feel like it's the most melodically progressive album and it gets moreso the more I listen

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1 hour ago, kirm said:

Has the 2 album thing had any more confirmation? Hope its true but everyone keeps talking like its defo happening but what ive heard so far sounds bit tenuous

On the 2 album theory of them being "solo" albums was thinking in the  context of Ae this could just mean it was curated by one of them on their own. So like album with a tracks picked all by Sian and another with tracks picked all by reeb? sorry just adding to the pointless rumour mill there, but just occurred to me as a pissabolity!

   

Two albums have been ready since the beginning of the year, was mentioned by them in one of the early twitch or mixlr streams. I think it's mainly COVID-19 that slowed everything down a bit.

It's the part about there being a "green one" that's unconfirmed as far as I know.

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12 minutes ago, djimbe said:

I sat and listened through it for the first time on my big hi-fi today. There is enormous bass on some tracks that just holds. I mean frequencies start up and they barely stop or ebb, and the whole room has pressure.

Initial reaction is that I'm lukewarm overall because the tracks seem really static to me. They begin, and sometimes there's not even a section B they change to before the end. They're often doing largely the same thing after seven minutes, then they just stop. I know Autechre are all about repetition, but I guess if I compare this to either the middle period that some describe as the most composed, or the more recent sprawling/generative NTS mode, it's got the sound design and circling of the latter delivered in the presentation of the former (discrete tracks) but without the trajectory power or direction of the former. So maybe in the context of Autechre, I file it as a new mode.

Obviously a lot here love the lush synth sound, but that doesn't interest me much overall without more melodic development. I agree with the chap who said that when Autechre foreground this kind of thing, I don't think it's their strong point. My comment about wanting more development is why I don't think it's their strong point.

It's impossible to say I'm disappointed because I had no idea what was coming. Maybe I secretly hoped for a move towards the 'composed mode', given we're back to the what-fits-on-a-CD format. The inundation of hours and hours and hours of material that Autechre have kindly given us inbetween Sign and the last album of this size has probably hurt the element of surprise when Sign sounds as similar to the sound design in those hours. I mean my brain's always saying 'Oh yeah, I remember this little way of making a spray of beeps from this bit of NTS' etc.

Anyway, it's obviously great to have a new album and I look forward to this one wandering around in the pantheon over time. However, I would be very surprised if this one ever became my favourite. (And I will admit if it does!)

sums up pretty well how i'm feeling about the album right now. M4 Lema feels like a bit off an "odd one out" compared with the rest of the tracks (in that it has a more dynamic composition, with a very off the cuff beginning, then pads coming in, then rhythm coming in etc.). i'm also curious to see how the LP develops/reveals itself in the future.

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For some reason the 80s style bass heavy synth chords really annoy me. I’ve been puzzled by new ae albums before, exasperated, even, but never annoyed.

Anyone else feel this way?

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2 hours ago, jaderpansen said:

to me it sounds like "behind the wheel" from depeche mode. it's not the same key, but i bet if you'd transpose it'd fit quite perfectly.

 

psin_mode.mp3

16 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

For some reason the 80s style bass heavy synth chords really annoy me. I’ve been puzzled by new ae albums before, exasperated, even, but never annoyed.

Anyone else feel this way?

nah.

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F7 is the only one that annoys me a bit with the very discordant synths. It's a little too over the top, like similar thing from known(1). Otherwise I think the album is maybe even a bit too pleasant to listen to?

My synesthesia is also going all reds, oranges and yellows on this album. While it may sound a bit like Oversteps at points it doesn't feel like it. Oversteps was more bright colors on a dark and white backgrounds. This is all like red and orange just plastered all over, even a bit claustrophobic. And visceral? idk

This morning I was listening to Sign while walking past this building and it just fit somehow perfectly with the autumn color trees added also which are still green in this picture:

Paino__hanasaariB_vaaka.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, ooqpoo said:

Kid A brings back memories. The anticipation of where they were gonna go after Ok Computer and the sobering suprise that was Kid A. Such an autumny album, warm yet distant and subdued. SIGN also seems to have that wistful autumny feel to it. 

It's also ten years since Oversteps, which was similarly a relatively short release with more focus on chill than bangers. 


I remember it being released and debuting atop the album charts. But I was 11 and with no singles it was hard to know what to make of it, what it might sound like. I didn’t get into Radiohead proper until 2005 (this would be very close to the album’s 15th anniversary for me actually). I was very hyped for the Wolfmother debut and was looking to pick this up around the same time after a recent sensational experience with OKC and the Bends. Kid A was the very first album I played on my first iPod, and I still have that CD in my car. 

3rd for me behind OKC & IR. I preferred Amnesiac in my youth, and it still isn’t far off. HTDC is my most preferred RH track.

 

I come from the Southern Hemisphere and I tend to associate Kid A with sweltering weather. Oversteps has always been pastoral to me more than seasonal. Thinking back, it was one of the first new releases of the decade for me. Heligoland was 1st and then I picked up Broken Bells at a similar time. I was already referencing/using WATMM then.

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6 hours ago, yekker said:

psin AM :

 

I keep hearing this chord, cannot unhear:

 

 

 

Similar chord progression indeed. The first chord is almost the same, then in psin AM comes an additional chord, and the third chord in psin AM is similar to the scond chord in the BoC track. The last chord is different though.

You could call it an hommage or an accidental similarity. I don't know. 

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11 hours ago, FEF said:

I disagree because the pianist either plays a score or otherwise decides what to play (e.g. improvisation) as distinct from generative elements. I only have a sketchy understanding of how Max works but as I understand it you can use it to trigger musical events within defined parameters and then refine the parameters to produce more desirable results. I would assume Sean & Rob construct parts with instructions like "play notes in this scale within these rhythmic limitations" or "play combinations of these six notes" and apply conditions and exceptions. Or maybe they invent a melody or chord sequence and have randomized (but controllable) things happening to it or against it.  

Edit: and I know they've mentioned using "if A then B" type commands

My overall point being that it's a different method of composition / performance than sitting down at the old joanna, "Seinfeld voice" not that there's anything wrong with that. One of the most revealing comments they've made about their process, I think, is comparing it to jazz, though it's (as I understand it) generative factors (controlled, to varying extents, beforehand or in real time, by them) that are producing the variations, rather than the decisions (also dependent on parameters) that go into a jazz solo. 

Also think of Cage and others expanding the parameters of the piano with prepared piano techniques, e.g. using objects to damp the strings or change the timbre - there's a direct lineage from that to the way our bois mess with the envelope

of course the analogy isn't one-to-one with AE+Max vs pianist+piano, but the original quote also is a touch of a reduction as well. but it gets the idea across and that's all that matters. ...so yeah, most of their stuff couldn't be transcribed simply to a piano, obviously. don't think that's the idea. the author of that interview/review writeup was making very clear, it's that all their music is based in electronica and specifically hip hop. so based on evocative textural recreations and creations and sampling of sounds. 

but the point i was trying to make, i guess i wasn't clear, was they're still separated from the sounds being created in a very similar way to the 'dumb piano' metaphor. unless they're fingerpicking a guitar or handdrumming on some tablas or dragging a bow across a cello string, they're also very separate from the sound. no matter how much work they've done in software/hardware to craft a sound or arrangement or sequence, they're very 'separate' from the sounds. this isn't bad, obv, just goes against their own point imo.

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I mostly just get a blue aquatic upper atmosphere beluga vibe from SIGN, and the sense it would make a cool gameboy soundtrack.

I think we’ll look back on this as the beginning of the late phase of their career.

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7 minutes ago, Roo said:

I think we’ll look back on this as the beginning of the late phase of their career.

just a new phase.

Confield: 2001

...

Oversteps: 2010

...

SIGN: 2020

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@djimbe and @rhmilo, you've both summed up current feelings/struggles I have with it so far, or some of its tracks. If I share too much now it'll potentially be very embarrassing, but whatever...this is all part of the early banter. I will no doubt change my mind, but since Exai some (not all) views have formed and stuck earlier than they used to in earlier Autechre fandom days. One thing I hope to get used to here is indeed the smaller emphasis on wild development; even Oversteps would have many tracks that shifted key multiple times within a piece or ended up somewhere quite different by the end, even if the tonal pallet didn't mutate as much as the next phase. But I guess I totally love Confield, and most of its tracks start as they mean to go on. 🥰

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26 minutes ago, jaderpansen said:

 

 

Your browser does not support the HTML5 audio tag.
 
 
 
 
 
 


psin_mode.mp3 503.17 kB · 57 downloads

 

 

On several occasions I have found Ae albums that, in a more or less veiled way, refer to a genre aesthetic, upsetting it and transforming it into that ineffable thing that autechre is. I found this in the most cohesive albums: untilted seems to take its cue from african polyrhythms (Ipacial Section is the most declared example: it's a spaceship that lands in the middle of an animist rite on the banks of the Congo, but the whole lp gravitates around this sensation), with Oversteps we have a Terminator that moves to Leipzig in the 1500s to hunt down Bach. Here, perhaps redundantly confirming what I have already written a few pages behind, I have the feeling that they wanted to make a similar game, this time targeting retro psychedelia, and all the synth drifts between the 70s and 80s. I'm more and more convinced that the inverted logo of the t-shirt wants to wink at the genre that this time they wanted to autechrized (therefore not a return to the origins, but a reinterpretation of something that happened before). This does not mean making a retro album, but taking the generic idea of retro (with a wide range of suggestions, from depeche fashions to tangerine dreams, so to speak), and processing it through the Autechre filter.
I'm already compulsively impatient for the next sign, the a of eA.

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17 minutes ago, Draft78 said:

On several occasions I have found Ae albums that, in a more or less veiled way, refer to a genre aesthetic, upsetting it and transforming it into that ineffable thing that autechre is. I found this in the most cohesive albums: untilted seems to take its cue from african polyrhythms (Ipacial Section is the most declared example: it's a spaceship that lands in the middle of an animist rite on the banks of the Congo, but the whole lp gravitates around this sensation), with Oversteps we have a Terminator that moves to Leipzig in the 1500s to hunt down Bach. Here, perhaps redundantly confirming what I have already written a few pages behind, I have the feeling that they wanted to make a similar game, this time targeting retro psychedelia, and all the synth drifts between the 70s and 80s. I'm more and more convinced that the inverted logo of the t-shirt wants to wink at the genre that this time they wanted to autechrized (therefore not a return to the origins, but a reinterpretation of something that happened before). This does not mean making a retro album, but taking the generic idea of retro (with a wide range of suggestions, from depeche fashions to tangerine dreams, so to speak), and processing it through the Autechre filter.
I'm already compulsively impatient for the next sign, the a of eA.

ps:

if things were to stay in the terms I described above, once again I must recognize how much they have disregarded me: a few months ago I replied to a post that hypothesized a return to the past, writing "Autechre that go back: this is a paradox". Well, now I have a t-shirt with autechre that literally go back, and an album with retro suggestions, transformed into a vision that comes from the future.

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32 minutes ago, Lianne said:

@djimbe and @rhmilo, you've both summed up current feelings/struggles I have with it so far, or some of its tracks. If I share too much now it'll potentially be very embarrassing, but whatever...this is all part of the early banter. I will no doubt change my mind, but since Exai some (not all) views have formed and stuck earlier than they used to in earlier Autechre fandom days. One thing I hope to get used to here is indeed the smaller emphasis on wild development; even Oversteps would have many tracks that shifted key multiple times within a piece or ended up somewhere quite different by the end, even if the tonal pallet didn't mutate as much as the next phase. But I guess I totally love Confield, and most of its tracks start as they mean to go on. 🥰

having already taken the path of "narrative" composition, which changes and transforms continuously, probably what they want to do now is supposed to be a thing that takes place within a defined structure. It could be the necessary way to put out this kind of tracks.

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