Autechre - Oversteps
Having aggressively tested the limits of loop-based electronic music with the diamond-perfect vignettes of 2008's Quaristice, Oversteps finds Autechre revisiting more melodic compositional methods. In doing so they've managed to strike a near perfect balance between the radical modes that characterise their recent work and the stirring textures of their salad days. Although many tracks employ beats sparingly or eschew them altogether, the record's brilliant procession of synthetic tones generate their own unique and fascinating kind of kinetic energy.
Album highlight Treale teasingly shifts its structure between the aleatoric and the metrical before resolving into the single most devestating melodic motif that Autechre have ever written - we've been caning it for two months now and we're still getting goosebumps. "We didn't hold back at all on this one" says Sean Booth of the album's unusual emotional charge, and he's not wrong. By bringing their production genius to bear on such deep reserves of human feeling Autechre have created their most important record since 2001's game-changing Confield. [Mark Shukla]
Autechre play Sub Club, Glasgow on 16 Mar.http://autechre.ws/