I've listened to Oversteps 4 times and while it's quite admirable in its further deconstruction of electronic music, I think it's a bit of a synth overkill, overall. While Autechre probably intended even its diehard fans to look closer -- look beyond the beats -- the thing is, the best songs on Oversteps are the more beat-driven ones. It's a very curious album, and I absolutely love it in theory, but a lot of the more, um.. not sure what the word is here.. not ambient.. just more.. synth-driven/beat-less songs don't really do much for me. They're nice enough, especially if you REALLY listen to them (which is something you need to do with all Autechre; REALLY pay attenton, don't treat it as background music), I just think the main problem is that they're overshadowed by the more beat-driven works, especially the second track on this album...
I think the big problem with this album's synth-only tracks is the synth tones themselves, which don't do anything for me (which is probably the point; theyre supposed to be cold, the exact opposite of the warmth associated with most ambient music)... also, the, um, "songwriting" on SOME of these tracks honestly sounds like someone going into Fruity Loops and hitting "randomize". Just a bunch of melody-less note sequences. Again, I get the deconstruction, and I find the whole thing fascinating, and I GUESS it works as an album (especially the first half), but it just kinda makes me impatient for the more beat-driven songs. Definitely a fascinating album, and I am not going to dismiss an Autechre album after 4 listens (only after about 30 did I LOVE Quaristice), but I definitely think, aside from a few brilliant tracks, it's their worst album, overall. Still like it quite a bit though.