KRUI Noise Radio Show 2013-10-26

This week’s mix focuses mostly on 3 new releases: Autechre’s L-system, Estroe’s Comfort And Closure, and FourTet’s Beautiful Rewind.
Autechre is perhaps the most resolutely inacessible group to ever acquire a dedicated fan base; their music challenges listeners to find a new way to hear music. My thought while I was playing on the radio was that there were drunk people riding around Iowa City last night after the football game wondering what had gone wrong with their radio. I love that, but obviously it is an acquired taste.estroe
Estroe (aka Esther Roozendaal) is a Dutch producer and DJ who has a long association with Eevolute/Eevonext Recordings, Stefan Robbers’ seminal Dutch techno label. This new album is a triumph; she has always been a gifted producer, but Confort and Closure manages to be both a great dance floor and a great listening record.autechre-l-event-12-086928-15cbc4d6 FourTet’s Beautiful Rewind is yet another of his releases that finds him exploring his own sonic world; it’s tangent to popular dance music — a DJ can play his tracks out, some of them to devastating effect — but not contained or limited by it. I also include his remix of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie”.Four_Tet NAW (Neil Wernick)’s new SUB BUS is a remarkable piece of music. Dub techno has an awful lot of tracks that sound the same. Neil finds something new and dramatic with this release — it’s spiky, chaotic and still funky.
Kid606 has been messing with the bounadaries of popular electronic music for over a decade now, and every album has at least something unexpected about it. The new album Happiness does something really strange in taking House Music and slowing it way down (to below 90 BPM from its customary 120 BPM), and employing sunny, naive major chord melodic material.Meow200_Kid606_Happiness_HIRES There’s a feeling that each track is a jam, though I’m not sure how exactly he’s jamming; the same sounds or notes collide and bounce off copies of each other.

For some reason, Ableton Live did not record the cross fader for this set, which is really odd; either that or I don’t understand the new-fangled way it manages automation. So the track sequencing was live, but I had to go back and re-draw all the cross fades as best I could. So this is a ‘live’ DJ mix only approximately.

[audio:|titles=Noise Radio 2013-10-26|artists=Chaircrusher]
Keys N KratesDum Dee Dum
AutechreLac Lacora
AutechOsla for n
Kid606Blood Stevia Sex Magic
Kid606Cute Never Dies
Imposter(s)Dead Prez
Justin TimberlakeSuit & Tie (FourTet Remix)
PhaelehMake You Feel
KelpeMonte Verita? (Kevin Reynolds Remix)
EstroeUnconscious Suppression
EstroePatiently Awaiting A Miracle
EstroeComfor In Disguise
EstroeFalse Identity
EstroeReaching Closure
EstroeState Of endurance
FourTetBa Teaches Yoga
EstroeSustainable Illusion
EstroeHappy Distraction
EstroeOut of My Comfort Zone
EstroeBeat Box Contest
EstroeCock Sure
NAWSub Bus
NAW Low Level Transi Movement
Four TetOur Navigation
Douster & Gina TurnerHush
Four TetKool FM
Four TetParallel Jalebi
ParsonTexas Crawl
AutechreM39 Diffain
Four TetGong
Kid606Coronado Bay Breezin’

KRUI Noise Radio 2013-03-02

So it’s been a bit since I did a radio show, so I have a backlog of new stuff to work through. New Burial, Autechre, My Bloody Valentine, Alex Under, Ron Trent, Terrace, and of course Chaircrusher….

[audio:|titles=2013-03-02 KRUI Noise Radio|artists=chaircrusher]
My Bloody ValentineWho Sees You
Alex UnderBola 7
Alex UnderBola 3
Ed McFarlaneShe Sleeps
Ros Sola6Sway
Sean DeasonOde To Detroit
Tevo HowardPump & Bounce
Tevo HowardYou Have A Way With Words
Micro WorldYour Techno Toy
Ron TrentKids At Play
Ron TrentExotic Drums
PerkowitzTime Lapse
TerraceOut of Time
MicroworldHappy Machines
Ros SolaSign Language Poetry
Don FrothREflex (Shake Shakir Remix)
Sean DeasonS4R4
Orphan101Baila Second Mix
Sean DeasonThe Nature Of Time
ChaircrusherIsthmus Strait Isthmus
Max 404How to Bluff Your Way Into Techno

DJ Mix: Autechre Retrospective

In the process of writing my review of Oversteps today, I listen to bits and pieces of the entire Autechre discography. Maybe it was because I was trying to listen critically to Oversteps, but something about Autechre clicked in my head in a way it maybe hadn’t before. There are times when they’re experimenting and doing crazy messy stuff with the beats, but a lot of the time they’re trying to synthesize their own kind of funkiness. Moody, autistic broken robot funk maybe, but funk nonetheless.

So I pulled together all my Autechre CDs and downloads and tried to select something from every release that spoke to me as a compelling piece, and then started trying to arrange them together in a way that made rhythmic sense and had some flow. You’ll be the judge of whether I managed to pull it off, but it was really fun trying. I had to go from 75BPM to 167BPM in a little over the hour — by the time I got to ‘Sublimit’ I went crazy with the effects, so it’s kind of an ad hoc remix/hit job.

I think I hit every release aside from their remixes and odd stuff like the Hafler Trio collaboration.

If you don’t like Autechre at all I don’t think I’m necessarily going to change your mind about them. But if you have any interest, give a listen.


Second PengAnvil Vapre
TeweChiastic Slide
ChatterArtificial Intelligence 2
V-ProcDraft 7:30
d-sho qubOversteps
SurripereDraft 7.30
EutowTri Repetae++
BcdtmxBassCad EP
DialGantz Graf

Picture is by Alice Rosenbaum and I straight up jacked it without permission.

Review: Autechre “Oversteps”

There are few musicians whose music is as polarizing as Autechre. It would be one thing if they were resolutely in the experimental music camp. The avant-garde have their audience, who embrace abstraction and difficulty, and revel in sound only marginally less random than brownian motion. But Autechre occupies a strange middle ground between the experimental and the popular; at the outset of their career they made music that was occasionally accessible, at least within the context of the early 90s ‘Intelligent Dance Music’ that bloomed in the penumbra of UK Rave Culture. They soon pushed beyond any sort of recognizable ties to any genre of popular music, alienating a new cohort of fans with each release. Over eight albums, and more EPs than I had the patience to count on, they’ve bobbed and weaved into and out of abstract electronica, instrumental hip hop and rave music. It’s hard to greet any new Autechre release with any initial reaction other than bafflement — it takes some listening to determine if they’re being brilliant or annoyingly obtuse, or both at once.

“Oversteps” is a phase transition for Autechre back into relative accessibility. I’m giving them pop points for keeping (mostly) a recognizable pulse, usually in 4/4 time, and cleaving (mostly) to traditional Western harmony. This is a good thing for a couple of reasons. First, it means the listener is never left without a trail of breadcrumbs to follow. Second, it means that they’re not letting their Aleatory Automation completely determine what’s happening. I’ve always thought I can tell whether machines or people are making compositional choices. While I might be fooled by especially clever computer programming that can pass a musical Turing test, I rarely think human-driven music seems arbitrary and pointless. People can and do make awful music, but at least there’s a human connection attempted even in their worst efforts. I’d rather listen to a human being imitating the sound of an Aeolian Harp than to the wind playing one. Even a human trying to sound random on purpose is more interesting than an actually random performance.

The track “known1” perhaps synthesizes Autechre’s conflicting impulses to be abstract and to convey some human emotion. It opens with a looping minor key progression that could conceivably be performed by a human on a piano. About 90 seconds in a splattery, nasal counterpoint comes in and follows the general outline of the chord progression. As this higher sound falls out, there’s a B section that plays once through before again being visited by the splattery counterpoint. Employing what sounds like Karplus-Strong plucked string synthesis, the traditional harmony is subverted by a subtly “wrong” scale tuning and inharmonic overtones.

“Pt2ph8” follows with a pentotonic clattering underpinned by a plucked bass. One would never accuse Autechre of conventionality in the structure of this track, but there is a couple of chord changes that signify to me a yearning melancholy as effectively as they would in a folk song. You can hear the random processes at work generating the off-kilter ornamentation, and yet they’re employing some overall macro control to pace and shape the sounds. There’s some drama to the pacing and satisfaction in the denouement, even if along the way there’s plenty of busy randomness.

The album opener “r ess” starts with a 30 second fade in that sounds like dead air for at least 20 seconds. The piece crawls slowly up from the noise floor, into what sounds like the ambiance of an East German train station, where a disorganized orchestra is playing through broken public address speakers. Gradually a beat totters in, replete with un-quantized swing and polyrhythms, only to trail off as vague tones fade in and out.

“ilanders” signature gesture is a long-form, swooping minor key bassline artfully distorted against (also artfully) distorted drums. The distortion is in the foreground of this piece, pulling your ear along with its continually variable texture. I know – sort of – how they achieve this effect — a combination of waveshaping distortion and frequency modulation — but they manage to make it sound interesting, and even attractive in its own mutant fashion. This means something to me because I know how to achieve something similar, but not how to do so in a way that isn’t just ugly and annoying.

“Oversteps” as a title seems to suggest that the pieces that comprise this album are somehow instances of going too far, or maybe that they are meant to convey the unsettling sensation one gets when miss a stair in the dark. I imagine this would be an apt reaction for someone who has never heard Autechre before. I’ve been listening to them for their entire 17 year career, and to me, “Oversteps” pulls back from the precipice a bit, and gives listeners some actual musical pleasure in return for their time. With these guys that isn’t always the case. Autechre is incapable of not being interesting, but they aren’t afraid to be frustrating. Some of their music makes you wonder why you bother even to listen, since they’re obviously are keeping whatever it is the music means to themselves. But “Oversteps” does not leave me feeling unsatisfied or cheated. It is certainly not for everyone, but in all the right ways, it seems like Autechre have deigned to stand quite a bit closer to their audience and even look them in the eye this time.

Listen to samples and/or purchase at