Autechre ‎– Oversteps

Label:
Warp Records ‎– WARP210, Warp Records ‎– WARPCDD210
Format:
14 × File, WAV, Album, 24-bit
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist

1 r ess 5:12
2 ilanders 5:32
3 known(1) 4:43
4 pt2ph8 4:10
5 qplay 4:39
6 see on see 4:37
7 Treale 6:05
8 os veix3 4:38
9 O=0 4:53
10 d-sho qub 6:26
11 st epreo 4:08
12 redfall 3:49
13 krYlon 6:09
14 Yuop 6:20

Notes

Initially this release had the WARP210 catalog number, it was later changed to WARPCDD210.

Other Versions (5 of 13) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
WARPCD210 Autechre Oversteps(CD, Album) Warp Records WARPCD210 UK 2010 Sell This Version
WARPCDD210 Autechre Oversteps(14xFile, FLAC, Album) Warp Records WARPCDD210 UK 2010
BRC-252 Autechre Oversteps(CD, Album) Beat Records BRC-252 Japan 2010 Sell This Version
WARPCDD 210 Autechre Oversteps(14xFile, AIFF, Album) Warp Records WARPCDD 210 UK 2010
BRC-252, WARPCD210 Autechre Oversteps(CD, Album, RP) Beat Records, Warp Records BRC-252, WARPCD210 Japan Unknown Sell This Version

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calipheron

calipheron

February 25, 2010
edited over 8 years ago

After pandering to the pseudo-intellectual cretins in their fan-base for the last 10 bloody years, Autechre have FINALLY written an album that is listenable. Because, on Oversteps, they are writing melodies again. And they're really fucking good ones at times. Gone, thankfully, also are the endless cockwaving drum/glitch bollocks of Draft and Untilted. And most of the tunes on Oversteps sound like fully fleshed ideas, not experiments in collage a-la Quaristice.

Oversteps sounds like a natural continuation of EP7 only with even more complex drum rhythms (thankfully not the headache-inducing pummeling fanboy-wank that is LCC and the like) and pristine production: the FM sounds cleaner and crisper. The rhythms are more intriguing, and the melodies they employ here are developed to a far greater degree than even the best LP5 or EP7 had to offer. I'm hearing shades of Tangerine Dream, Telex, Vangelis, and Moskwa TV in this album, so that's a pretty good start. Oh, and it's not MINIMAL either, thankfully.

Ilanders is effectively Robot-Jazz. Its "structure" is little more than that of a trad-jazz jam, opening and closing with the main theme and exploring it from every angle in between. I'm no jazz fan, but the idea is sound. The underlying rhythm is some concotion of electro crossed with breaks and hip-hop. The roiling pads underneath the crunchy FM drums and plinking melodies are a welcome return after the last 10 years. Proof that Sean and Rob can write them!

Treale is where they take the whole "reform, redevelop, destroy, then reform again" ethic on their melodies about as far as they ever have. This is 100% composition right here, computer-aided or not. I find it hits my personal "melodic threshold" at times, like a lot of jazz tunes tend to, but I would still have the interlocking FM tones of Treale than ANY of the 7+ minute drum wank exercises of Confield, Draft or Untilted. Nice that they stick to a fairly simple hip-hop/big-beat style rhythm and let the synths "be complex" for a change. Well done, lads!

Known(1) is a mess. Oversteps is - on every other track - a brooding aural dystopia, somewhat meditative and atmospheric with the bare hint of malignancy, but Known(1) is totally at odds with this vibe, coming across more as a twisted EP7 outtake with extra-trashy FM tweaking thrown in. They over-do the out-of-tuned'ness on this one. Thankfully it's the only track that is sub-par.

See On See is just arpeggiated bliss, with a bass-line continuously morphing underneath some lovely higher-octave tones. Call it a requiem, it's beautiful. I haven't said that about an Autechre song since Drane! Os veix3 and O=0 contain some of the most emotionally resonant and melancholic melodic phrases I've heard from Ae, as well as some fascinating key changes in the latter. st epreo has a less distinct hook than other tunes, and is more drum-focused, but it doesn't fall into the Untilted trap of endless clatter. d-sho qub has an infectious, slightly-shuffled "fast hip-hop" rhythm and it's hard not to love those hugely satisfying, crunchy snares blasting away under more very memorable synth lines, coming across "happier" here (love the way it devolves into vocal choruses, too!). The album finishes on the more minimalistically-composed Yuop, which gradually develops into lots of noisy pads and synth "wibbles". It works well as a closer.

As an aside, I find it hilarious that some people complain that there's been some blatant use of plugin patches from Tassman and Reaktor. If this is true, so what? Ae love FM, and if it works, just fucking use it. I can't be the only one that's lived through the naughties' endless sound exploration and gradual detachment from conventional composition techniques (ANYTHING from Mille Plateaux Records, for example), and find that 90% of it is barely interesting for a few listens, then just gets boring. It may be "exploring new sonic frontiers", but ultimately, focusing upon sound creation and texture as opposed to melody, often leaves you with music that is forgettable, for-occasion, aural wallpaper. That is never a problem on Oversteps.

Sean and Rob do a FAR better job of exploring melancholic, detached alienation on Oversteps using MELODIES than they do pissing about with drums and stepping on Venetian Snares' toes (Draft, Untilted, Confield). If you have any interest in challenging electronic music, you want to hear this. If you like Ae but found their previous albums lacking for any reason, believe me: you must hear this. If you spooge copiously over FM synthesis, then I'm surprised you're reading this and not listening to the bloody thing already. If you'd like to hear the "genre" of IDM broken and completely destroyed, well that's probably some personal issues you might need to work out, but don't let that stop you from trying Oversteps. Heck, I'm no "fan" of Autechre OR IDM, and I've fallen completely in love with this album. It's hard to at first, this is Autechre, not Arovane (who, melodically, came across as more of a romantic) but this is Sean and Rob showing their 100% robotic, programmed, circuit-driven souls. And I wouldn't want it any other way. Not perfect - ditch Known(1) - but bloody close. 10/10.

P.S. Oversteps makes for a superb alternative soundtrack to System Shock. :)
anchorstates

anchorstates

February 24, 2010
If there’s one thing I can say about Autechre fans upon hearing their new album Oversteps, and all prior fakes that made their way around the internet, is that they are the most confused and inconsistent bunch of fans in the entire world. I have yet to find a single artist that polarizes even it’s own fans as much as Autechre. But for awhile, there were at least two major camps; Camp 1 loved everything pre 96, when they were less abstract and more ‘melodic’. Camp 2 loved everything after that, embracing the chaotic abstractness they dove into. Not everyone falls into either of these sides thank god, and I tend to think the most ‘true’ fans can appreciate them as a whole. For awhile, the two sides seemed to make sense. But in true Ae fashion, Oversteps once again confuses an already confused bunch of listeners.

As a fan of Autechre myself, allow me to explain the ‘confusion’ bit: As with most albums released by this duo, there comes a time where fake album leaks are inevitable. For the most part, it’s largely single tracks that are sometimes just small snippets, and they make rounds for a bit until they are proven to be fake. Some are prominent, fairly widespread, but something very bizarre happened when Oversteps supposedly leaked. The leak, which was obviously fake, was listened to by a staggering amount of people. Even more bizarre: some of these people were claiming it was 100% without a doubt, genuine. Fans of this group, who have claimed to be fans for ages, who felt like they deeply understood Autechre and knew everything about them, were sincerely claiming this fake to be completely real, utterly legit. So if that wasn’t already confusing enough, Autechre decide to throw yet another curveball, albeit it not in the way anyone ever imagined; this is the single most melodic Autechre album ever produced. It’s also the most ambient. No longer can Amber fans say they want them to return to melody. Not only that, but it’s incredibly bright, vibrant and at times, playful, similar to Plaid, even Aphex Twin.

So is this album good? I would say yes, very much so. Some will say no. Despite it’s obvious melodic bent, I feel it sacrifices absolutely none of the qualities that make them good in the first place, and this is painfully clear. The misconception of Autechre being futurist masters of all things technological is burned into the heads of far too many people. So much of mid-to-late 90s had this boundary pushing idealism and they were the poster boys for that, and I can guarantee you it was not their intention. Despite the chronological shifts, every album has contained traces of their personal, unique touch, and this album is no different. It’s singular focused yet amazingly clear compared to much of their work, it’s very free and open without a pretense of moodiness that bogs some Autechre down. They’ve written some of the most tuneful, engaging melodies of their entire career, something that would attract ‘many’ instead of ‘few’. Then again it’s personal taste here, not all the melodies here will appeal to everyone, and that is completely fair.

Some people feel that they went off the boil when Untilted was released, but I don’t really think so. Their back catalogue is not bullet proof, nobody ever agrees on anything, and fans endless assumption that they are intent on pushing the envelope is skewed. And if you have hardcore Autechre fans claiming a fake is legit, can you honestly listen to anyone? Time will tell how it holds up, but as I listen to this I can’t help but feel Autechre has made one of their best releases to this date. It is completely unapologetic in it’s vision, abstract or no, just like all the best Autechre albums.
newbuild

newbuild

February 24, 2010
edited over 8 years ago
Although this have only been available for a short period of time, I think it has already grown on me quite deeply. About two minutes and twenty three or four seconds into O=0 there is this surprise shift which is quite possibly my favourite moment amongst these selections thus far, but there are several more precious moments throughout. I get the feeling that this one is going to be cherished for a very long time. I am enamoured to have pre ordered the vinyl from Warp, despite the cost of it nearing the £40 price, and getting the WAV files and mp3's a month earlier than the advert indicated. This is the sound from Ae which I have longed for so patiently.