Latent Quarter

March 3rd, 2006

This is the central hub for my writings on Autechre.

An album guide, covering up to Confield.

A review of Confield.

A review of Draft 7:30.

Entries written since.

Below is a revision on the original Autechre Faq, which grew obsolete and was subsequently moved to Autechre.nu, which subsequently grew obsolete. It hasn't been updated since 2001, and I haven't had much time for it lately. Any input is welcome and appreciated.

Acronyms

Here are some acronyms that are used regularly on alt.music.autechre:

AE – AutechrE
AFX – ApheX twin
BOC – Boards Of Canada

Catalog

The following is a basic listing of all Autechre & Gescom releases. This listing does not include remixes, collaborations or exclusive tracks. For a more complete listing, visit the Autechre visual discography (maintained by Autechre themselves) at: www.warprecords.com/autechre

Albums

1993 – Incunabula
1994 – Amber
1995 – Tri Repetae
1997 – Chiastic Slide
1998 – LP5 (or just Autechre)
2001 – Confield
2003 – Draft 7.30
2005 – Untilted

Eps

1991 – Cavity Job
1994 – Basscadet EP
1994 – Anti EP
1995 – Anvil Vapre
1995 – Garbage
1996 – We r are why are y are we 12 (Warp Mailorder only)
1997 – Cichlisuite
~1997 – Radio Mix
1997 – Envane
1998 – Peel Sessions
1999 – EP7
1999 – Splitrmx12 (12 inch limited to 3000 copies)
2002 – Gantz Graf

Gescom Albums

1998 – Gescom minidisc

Gescom Eps

1994 – Gescom EP
1995 – Gescom 2 EP
1995 – The sounds of machines our parents used
1995 – Keynell
1996 – Motor
1996 – Keynell (Autechre mixes)
1998 – That
1998 – This
2003 – IS:SSA

Who is Autechre?

Autechre is Sean Booth and Rob Brown.

Where do Autechre live?

Rob Brown currently lives in London, while Sean Booth lives in Suffolk. They moved from Sheffield about a year ago.

How is Autechre pronounced?

Autechre can be pronounced any way you feel is best: ah-tek-ray, ah-tek-er, ah-te-ker, ah-tetsh-er are all different ways I've heard it pronounced. According to an interview, Autechre themselves say awe-tek-er.

Which label is Autechre on?

Autechre have been signed to the well-known Warp records since their first album. Other artists on the Warp label include Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Plaid, Boards of Canada, Plone and many more. Warp's website can be found at: www.warprecords.com. Autechre's first ever release, an ep called 'cavity job', was released on Hardcore records in 1991.

What is Autechre like live?

Well they do either a dj set, a mix set or a full on production with synths. I saw the mix set. This is where Sean and Rob each have a lapreference and a custom mixer sits between them. Armed with Minidiscs, they put on a show making custom tracks out of loops they have stored, and/or put on some familiar tracks. I heard 2nd Bad Vilbel, Ccec, Glitch, Peel Session 2 tracks, among other stuff. Either way, Ae live is something to see.

Is it possible to buy any Autechre merchandise?

Not as far as I know, you'll have to make your own.. :)

Are either Rob Brown or Sean Booth married?

Yes, Sean Booth is married with Chantal Passamonte (Mira Calix). She used to work at the Warp office, handling promotion and stuff like that. Now she is a Warp artist herself – her first full-length album, 'One on One' was released in spring 2000.

What kind of computers and other gear do Autechre use?

Autechre use all sorts of computers – they use Apple Mac's a lot, but also PC's and Atari's. They even use the BBC Micro and the MSX. They use a *lot* of different gear – according to an interview, they are very fond of the Clavia Nord Lead line of synths. They also use an old Ensoniq EPS sampler with a modified operating system, and even some old Casio samplers (SK1 and SK5). They use lots of soft synths and plug-ins too, some of which they create themselves.

There are several extant interviews available on the web that go into a bit more detail on the subject:

What kind of MIDI software do Autechre use?

They use lots of different software – according to an interview from 1998, they use Emagic's Logic Audio as the center of their system. It is also rumoured that they use OpcodeMAX (www.opcode.com).

How do Autechre work when they create music?

According to an 1998 interview, their working method is totally random. They both have their own studios and they have no set rules about who starts or finishes a track, or when they fuse their resources. They also do tracks on their own, without any influence from each other. They are very choosy about what material they release – every album is composed of roughly 300 minutes of music. For 'Chiastic Slide' they had made 60 tracks over a one-year period, and 9 of these tracks eventually made it to the album. You might wonder why they don't release double albums.. I certainly hope they will some day.

What are Sean Booth's favourite Aphex Twin tracks?

Digeridoo and Dodecaheedron.

2.00 Autechre releases

What do Autechre's track titles mean?

According to an interview, their track titles don't really mean anything (at least not to the public). A track title might be based on the name of a sample they've used, words that have been messed about with or any other thing they've got in their head. It's also rumoured that they use a computer based generator to create some of the names.

Pyrop has an exhaustive page of speculative interpretations as well.

Where is the hidden track on EP7?

There is a section located before the first track which contains this secret track. To access it you must rewind from the first track, though not all CD players are capable of doing this.

Why isn't the hidden track on EP7 on the domestic release?

The hidden track was not included because of production problems.

How do you pronounce 'Cichli suite'?

Sean Booth said it's pronounced sickly sweet – which is a nice description of their music in general.

Are the tracks on 'Envane' remixes?

Yes – according to Sean Booth, the four tracks started off with the same mathematical basis, but ended up being different tracks.

What does 'Incunabula' mean?

'Incunabula' – "incunabel" in latin, means "first" or "first pressing of a book". This makes a lot of sense, since Incunabula is Autechre's first album.

Why is the second track on 'Amber' called 'Montreal'?

Because Sean Booth likes the city Montreal and have some friends out there. This track is dedicated to them.

What's the deal with their 'Peel Sessions' thing?

A 'Peel Session' is a collection of tracks made specifically for a BBC radio show where dj John Peel reside. In 1998, Warp released Autechre's first peel session, which was originally broadcast in 1995. A second Peel session was broadcast in 1999, and will be released in early 2001.

What's the deal with their 'Anti EP'?

In 1994, Autechre released an ep which was meant as a protest against the 'Criminal Justice Bill' which outlawed gatherings of people were the music displayed repetitive beats. The first two tracks of this ep contain repetetive beats, while the last track contains non-repetetive beats.

The exact text reads as,

"Warning: Lost and Djarum contain repetitive beats. We advise you not to play these tracks if the Criminal Justice Bill becomes law. Flutter has been programmed in such a way that no bars contain identical beats and can therefore be played at both forty five and thirty three revolutions per minute. However, we advise DJs to have a lawyer and a musicologist present at all times to confirm the non-repetitive nature of the music in the event of police harrassment. (…) Autechre is politically non-aligned. This is about personal freedom."

What about the Keynell – Autechre remixes?

The original (limited) Keynell 12 (released on Skam, 1995) has been remixed by Autechre, and the remixes appeared on Warp (Wap88). The Skam-Keynell was repressed in August 1999.

What's a Maetl then? (Incunabula track 8)

Rob and Sean were just messing around with words, after they became a bit mealy of spending those days in the studio. They called each other mate, but with an odd scottish accent, it became maetl.

Why is Kalpol Introl so short? (Incunabula track 1)

This track was originally longer than 3m18, but Autechre cut it up several times and it eventually became the intro to the album. They did, however, play 15 minute versions of this track with beats in their live sets around 1993/94.

What does Eggshell (Incunabula track 6) remind me of?

A different version of this track was released on the Artificial Intelligence 1 compilation (Warp6), called 'The Egg'.

What is Autechre's connection with Artificial Intelligence II?

They appeared on it, with a track called 'Chatter'. This track has never been released anywhere else.

What's the connection between Autechre and Saint Etienne?

Autechre did a remix for them, called "Skin up, you're already dead".

Why does the A-side on the 'Splitrmx12' sound familiar?

Because this track originally was released on a Neu! tribute album, which you probably own if you recognize this track.

Where can I get the Radio Mix?

This is a live set, and was only available through a limited run of promos (catalog WARP CD51). It is still available as a streaming file on Warp's site, but those who were fortunate to get an initial copy seem to guard them somewhat jealously 8-)

It's a shame, too, since it's a first-rate set and has some great material. Some folks consider the first three tracks to be among the best work they've done. The best way to get a copy is over one of the P2P networks. In an interview, Autechre have been quoted as saying they don't mind it being distributed this way. Should you get a copy, here's the tracklist:

Gescom – Mag (AE Remix)
Lexis – Hypnotise (Autechre Remix)
Gescom – Keynell (Remix)
Slowly – On the Loose (For Internal Use Only)
Push Button Objects – Non-existant (Keyed in by Gescom)
Jimi Tenor – Take Me Baby (Fucked up Remix)
Impulse – One Six Four Seven (Numbers Rammed Down My Ear Mix)
Edge of Motion – Earth Ball (Autechre Remix)
Skinny Puppy – Killing Game (Autechre Remix)

Is Autechre Gescom?

Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not. Actually the whole Gescom crew consists of almost 20 people. Sean Booth calls it an "umbrella-project".

Does Gescom mean anything?

Yes and no, because it means different things. I've heard that it means both "Global Enterprise Communication Systems", "Gestalt Communications" and "Global Engineering Systems Components". They probably invent a new meaning all the time.

What is the difference in the sound between Autechre and Gescom?

Gescom has more of a straight forward electro-type sound, while Autechre are much more abstract and varied.

What's the connection between the underground label Skam records and Autechre?

Skam releases most of Gescom's productions. Skam records is run by Andy Maddocks and Jed O'Hara.

What's the connection between Skam artist Bola and Autechre?

Bola (or Darrell Fitton) masters records for Skam and he assisted Autechre with Incunabula. Also, he taught Autechre how to make substantial melodies.

What's the connection between Autechre and Lego Feet?

Unknown. They may be Lego Feet. They may also be Velocity Kendall. Both projects are very similar in approach to their work as Gescom. Rob and Sean have never answered.

//

(This is the header for the original faq. The old maintainer (Knut Ruud) has recorded as the artist Upland.)

The _alt.music.autechre_ FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) version 1.15 – December 2000

This faq has been assembled from discussions on the alt.music.autechre newsgroup, as well as magazine interviews and other sources. The FAQ is currently maintained by Knut Andreas Ruud, based on a sketch by Kenny Johnson and Martin Krois. Most of the questions that were posted to Martin Krois' Autechre faq submission page have been included here. Thanks a lot to all contributors of this FAQ – this would not have been possible without your help. The current version of this FAQ has been approved/corrected by Autechre, so I guess it's an official FAQ now.

If you have anything you want to add to this page, corrections, or any other comments, feel free to contact the current maintainer which is Knut Andreas Ruud at: knut.ruud@c2i.net. Please insert 'ae faq' in the subject field.

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