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Old 02.13.2010, 11:05 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by atsonicpark
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.

Right, I've listened to it ONCE and I'd be surprised if I listened to it again.

The beats are Autechre by numbers, although they've finally got the hang of putting the odd cod-jazz rhythm in there. The problem with the beats is that they're a bit more regular than more recent albums. On the one hand, this means I don't find them massively frustrating for pissing about with 'oh-so-clever' glitches [yawn]; on the other hand, it does mean that it sounds a bit 99. I'm clearly over-saturated with dubstep, but this sounds really weak in 2010.

If 'deconstruction' means pushing the perimeters of what's acceptable within a genre, then, well, this isn't it. The beats are really regular. What they do do really, really well on this album is the non-beat-driven tracks - on the first track, there's this really meticulous, painstaking attention to the attack sound, the decay of a note, the placement of the high sine tones. Also, the fake cello sound is really, really sweet. As usual with Autechre, the other tracks have the beats far too far forward - there are some absolutely gorgeous sounds on st epreo that are largely buried underneath quite a pedestrian beat.

The last track does something really quite smart with a fake cadence around 3:30. It's almost like they've listened to Sibelius. Which they probably have, come to think of it. Again, a really meticulous attention to dEQtail on the synths.

That fruitloops comment - I can only assume that's coming from os veix3. Which has a synth gamelan floating about in a sort of Herbie Hancock way. It's probably the most unconventional thing on the album, melody-wise, but it's hardly something that would throw someone like yourself off. I'm surprised.

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