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Artist: Autechre

Album: Quaristice

Release date: March 3, 2008

Genre: IDM, Glitch, Ambient

Label: Warp

 

The ninth studio album by Autechre marks a slight change in the band's work. Here Rob Brown and Sean Booth decided to make shorter (2-3 minutes) tracks instead of the standard 6-8 minute long tracks on the previous albums. On Quaristice we get 20 tracks (31 if we decide to get the limited edition with a bonus CD). As it can be clearly seen, Ae went for quantity here. But does quantity equal quality?

 

Stylistically, the album more or less closely follows the line set by Confield and then followed by Draft 7.30 and Untilted. They serve us a crazy mix of warm ambiental passages confronted to cold, almost industrial glitchy mishmash. Some tracks don't sound like finished pieces, they sound more like drafts or synthesizer exercises made out of boredom. Some listeners may hate it, others might enjoy it - Autechre is known for finding new ways to confuse the listener. Nothing is sure here, nothing can be predicted.

 

There is a vague "pattern" on this album: An ambient opening, a few glitchy tracks, ambiental interlude, another few glitchy tracks, calm ambient again, another load of glitchy confusion and finally, the ambiental closing. This sounds like a great idea, but it is great when it is executed well. Unfortunately, Quaristice is a pretty incostintent album and while there are moments of pure genius. Like the ethereal "Altibzz" or "plyPhon" (my favourite track on the whole album), which creates a mysterious melody out of incredibly short clicks and beeps. Unfortunately, there are many moments when a great track is simply too short and when you start sinking into it, it ends. Many compositions simply wander aimlessly and after a short time the symphony of broken rhythms and quaint bleep-bloops gets simply annoying and tiring. Some tracks are simply ruined by the musicians' overwhelming need to confuse and experimentate. The best example is "Simmm", which starts with a beautiful synth line but soon turns into an electronic mayhem.

 

However, thanks to to their shortness, even the more annoying tracks don't last long and quickly change into something else. Thanfully, Brown and Booth tried to keep this album as diverse as possible and they partially succeeded. For example; the cold, thumping, bass-heavy "rale" is a nice contrast to the suceeding track, "Fol3", which sounds as if it was created by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Merzbow who broke into the studio while Ae were enjoying the coffee break.

 

THE VERDICT: All in all, this album has potential. Brown and Booth decided to go into even more minimalistic forms here, leaving an impression of work-in-progress. Many empty sections could be filled, many tracks could be made longer, a few could be simply thrown out. But it's impossible now, this is a finished product and we have to enjoy it as we got it. But I still have a sense of hunger, a sense that something more could be done, what I'm hearing just doesn't do it for me. I'm still listening to "plyPhon" cursing that it's not any longer. 7/10.

 

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Aaaand two tracks from the album:

 

"Altibzz"

 

 

"IO"

 

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Is this a topic just for this album or can we all post our own reviews of other CDs?

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Is this a topic just for this album or can we all post our own reviews of other CDs?

Everything is explained here.

 

Yes, this is a topic for this particular album. If you want to post your own review, post your own topic.

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I haven't done one of these in a while, I should get around to that. Nicely written, I'll check it out.

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zzzzz

 

Tri Repetae is a classic but this put me to sleep. What other Autechre is worth checking out?

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Nice article, pretty much sums my feelings about Quaristice - too slow, dull and confused. Not that it's bad, it's just not as good as it could've been.

 

@-shaDow

Incunabula (their 1st album), Amber. You can try Confield but it's less accessible (a masterpiece though).

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