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I forget these Mancunian rhythm benders started off with a thumping hardcore tune under their belt - 'Cavity Job', here presented in digital for the first time! - In much the way some of Aphex's early career was built on shredding people's synapses with bursts of industrial strength techno, this is a sweaty banger but more inclined toward a pre-Prodigy air-horn friendly breaks-ahoy way. 'Basscad' and it's baffling array of remixes plows a whole new furrow for them a couple of years later, delving into eerie mechanised sci-fi techno spacescapes & hypnotic ambient breaks. So many cool electronically-minded people desperate to collaborate too! Some cracking mixes here! They were already exploring the abstraction & rewiring of electronic beats by 'Flutter', a wonderful piece of CJB-flummoxing futurism. Sort of somewhere between Mike Paradinas' Mu-Ziq & Snivilisation-era Orbital, it is a 4/4 defying masterpiece. As is the astounding 'Vletrmx21' from the Amber sessions mopping 'Garbage EP'. An epic sounding classical/cosmic synth piece that is one of my favourite pieces of music ever. And many other people's too I should imagine! About mid 90s they're getting seriously into alien machine funk territory with their EPs and once again pioneering alarming new sounds & conquering even more fertile musical territory. I love 'Goz Quarter' from the 'Envane' sessions - it's realistic to say this low-cruising cyber hip-hop travelogue (see also their simultaneous Gescom involvement & the affiliated Dual Purpose material - rinsin' man!) had a significant influence on the next few years of the tediously monikered IDM scene. Hello Bitsteam, Team Shadetek et al. I could go on a bit, looking into their turn-of-the-millenium era but that's where Autechre start to frighten me with their ruthless musical disembodiment & unravelling complexity. The skeletal dissolving rhythms & fragmented computer beats forever ripping apart your mind & often leaving you a bit exhausted. But never unsatisfied, it's like the most abstract of art, forever begging impossible questions. Sorry it's been such a long review but there's quite a lot of material here & they're nothing short of geniuses these two. I think it's only fitting that this is an impeccably designed monument to some seriously seminal work. Get yer purses out kids.....
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- EPs 1991 - 2002 by Autechre
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