“I couldn’t really tell you. It’s getting more and more blurred. It’s so far away from what I really have a passion for. Well, it is and it isn’t. I don’t own a single record that sounds like ‘Oversteps’” – Sean Booth of Autechre discussing tracing influences in their new album “Oversteps” with Clash Music Magazine
How can I even go about to describe this new Autechre record? Well, for one thing, if you love their 1994 album “Amber”, like I do, then you may enjoy seeing kind of a return to form. However, this return to form isn’t exactly what you’re expecting. The melodies are much more apparent here than in Autechre’s later releases like “Confield” and “Untilted,” but the same brand of full-on experimentation with glitch beats is still present as ever, though not as much as Autechre fans have been used to hearing.
“Oversteps” is one of the most interesting albums I have heard this year. It’s hard for me at this point to say that it’s one of my favorites, but it’s certainly unlike anything I have heard in the past few years. Starting off with the track, “r ess”, you’re kind of let into the music slowly with some lush, ambient pads, until an off-kilter distorted beat hits you a minute or so into the track. “Ilanders” is sort of the same way, but I love the rhythms of the beats in the track. Actually, there are plenty of tracks on this album that change in tone, for either better or worse (to tell you the truth, I can’t really pick out which tracks I didn’t care for, and really, I probably wouldn’t want to, because the album is an experience of its own). One of my favorites on the album is the beatless track “Redfall”, as instead, the basslines and melodies somehow create the beat on their own, sort of in the same fashion that bluegrass bands can somehow get people to dance without ever using a drumkit, and instead using rhythmic melodies and basslines. The only thing on this album that is not akin to bluegrass is there are no harmonized vocals (heck, no vocal samples at all).
Wait, why am I comparing this album to bluegrass all of a sudden? This is an electronic album, not a bluegrass album! Well, Sean Booth sums it up perfectly when he says that he doesn’t own a single record that sounds like “Oversteps”, because for the most part, unless you can top it, no one in the world has a record like “Oversteps”. That is why this album is so unique then. You can’t trace the influences here. The music suddenly becomes blurred to a point that it becomes its own unique genre. Its own unique trend. There are very few albums out there that have the power to do that.
Though there’s not much I can say about “Oversteps” (let’s just forget the whole bluegrass thing, shall we?), and it wasn’t necessarily my absolute favorite album, out of any of the albums I’ve ever heard, it’s certainly the most interesting, and deserves a few listens. Hopefully, the more I get into this album, the more I’ll appreciate it.
Released by Warp Records, 2010
Out in major retailers now!