Saturday, February 18, 2012

Autechre - "Peel Session" (LP Review)

If you don't like repetitive, electronic music you're not going to like Autechre, who are in some ways electronica's answer to Phillip Glass. Herbert turned me on to Autechre (aka Sean Booth & Rob Brown) many years ago, and their 1999 EP "Peel Session" is probably my favorite release of theirs.

At first listen, Autechre's music seems rather simple: loops of different melodies and percussion gradually introduced, combined, retracted, modified, and reintroduced (thus the comparison with Glass). Any single loop is simple enough, but their combination and the summation of their effect is surprisingly complex and hypnotic, and only reveals its full design after repeated listenings.

"Peel Session" was recorded for and broadcast by John Peel in 1995, but the EP itself wasn't released until 1999. At 25 minutes, it contains three songs in increasing length and complexity: "Milk DX", "Inhake 2", and "Drane". They're all good, but "Drane" is a hypnotic masterpiece (with some elements bordering on shoegazing). This EP has a more ambient feel than some of their more IDM-influenced releases, making it that much stronger in my opinion.

Standout songs: "Milk DX", "Inhake 2", "Drane"

Skip 'em songs: none.

Final score: 8/10. Don't play this as background music, because it will suck the air out of the room.

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