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Autechre are an Englishmarker electronic music group consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both natives of Rochdalemarker, Greater Manchestermarker. Formed in 1987, the duo are one of the most prominent acts signed with Warp Records, a label known for its pioneering electronic music. While most associated with IDM (intelligent dance music), Booth and Brown are ambivalent in relating their sound to established genres. Their music has exhibited a gradual shift in aesthetic throughout their career, from their earlier work with clear roots in techno and electro to later albums that are often considered more experimental in nature, featuring complex patterns of rhythm and subdued melodies. Quaristice, their most recent album, was released in 2008.


Brown and Booth formed the group in 1987 when they both lived in Rochdalemarker. Originally meeting through Manchester's graffiti scene, heavily influenced by electro and hip hop they began trading mixtapes between each other, and gradually moved on to their own composition while collecting a handful of cheap equipment, most notably a Casio SK-1 sampler and a Roland TR-606 drum machine. Since then they have employed a wide variety of electronic instruments to create an evolving style.

Booth and Brown pronounce the name Autechre with a Rochdale accent ( ). However, they have explained that the name can be pronounced in any way one sees fit. Booth explains: "The first two letters were intentional, because there was an 'au' sound in the track, and the rest of the letters were bashed randomly on the keyboard. We had this track title for ages, and we had written it on a cassette, with some graphics. It looked good, and we began using it as our name. " They are also commonly referred to by the abbreviation "Ae" or "æ".

Autechre have also recorded under various pseudonyms. One of the duo's earliest recordings was a 12" under the alias "Lego Feet", released in 1991 on Skam Records. The majority of Gescom releases, most of them on Skam, have been attributed to Booth and Brown, among other artists. Autechre helped initiate the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in 2000, and were responsible for curating the 2003 festival.

Autechre have been involved with radio since their early days, originally spinning for IBC Radio, a Manchestermarker pirate radio station in 1991, where they had their own show playing Belgian techno alongside their own demos. Later they would appear as part of Gescom for their weekly "Disengage" show on Manchester's Kiss FM. On two occasions Autechre have streamed webcasts from their website. The first was on 10 April 2005, and lasted a little over 7 and a half hours. The most recent took place on 23 February 2008, and was exactly 12 hours long. Both began at 8pm GMT, and featured an eclectic range of music.

In 2009 they contributed a cover of an LFO song to the Warp20 compilation, as well as having their song "Tilapia" covered by John Callaghan.


Much of Autechre's music has a strong focus on complex rhythm, driving percussion, and meticulous sequencing. Often unusual rhythmic loops repeat and change incrementally, with the music constantly in transition. Sometimes patterns are set against one another, implying several time signatures at once. Later work has been described as experimental and abstract, in contrast to the more club-friendly and conventional early 1990s releases.

Reactions to their music have varied. Many of their tracks contain complex or chaotic rhythms and close harmonies which some hear as random and noisy. Fans of their recent work tend to find the value of their music to lie in its unique fusion of rhythmic and melodic elements, i. e. melodic percussive sounds, and enharmonic synthesizer patches implying numerous rhythmic and melodic lines and chord structures simultaneously. Another recurring element in Autechre's work has been the use of extremely fast sequencing or retriggering to create a fragmented, grainy effect.


True to their early electro roots, Autechre use a wide array of analog synths in their production, as well as analog and digital drum machines, mixers, effects units and samplers. They have also made extensive use of a variety of computer based sequencers, softsynths, and other applications as a means of controlling those synths and processing the synthesized sounds. Much of the hardware and software they use has been customized by the band themselves. Autechre have also experimented in depth with development environments such as Max/MSP (invented by software pioneer Miller Puckette), and Kyma – amongst others – from 1997 onwards, though it is unclear which are still in use. From 2005, they have used the Elektron Machinedrum and Monomachine, alongside Akai MPC and Nord Modular in their live performances.It has also been rumoured that Autechre have used military equipment in their work. In 2008, Sean Booth reported that if he were locked in a cell for a year with only one piece of software and one piece of hardware, he'd "probably take a copy of Digital Performer and an AKG C 1000 microphone. "

Other machines that Autechre have repeatedly mentioned in interviews are appreciated for their interface and aesthetics as much as their sound, including the Roland TR-606 and MC-202, and the Nord Lead.

Autechre sometimes use generative techniques, most notably on Confield and EP7.


Autechre have collaborated with several artists for live performances, including Zoviet France , Fennesz and Roedelius , as well as recorded collaborations with The Hafler Trio and Venetian Snares.




Singles, promos, and remixes

  • 1991: "Cavity Job" (12" vinyl single limited to 1,000 copies)
  • 1994: Basscadet (five remixes – six on vinyl – of "Basscadet" from Incunabula; also known as Basscad) UK #56
  • 1996: "We R Are Why" (12" vinyl promo.)
  • 1997: Radio Mix (hour-long DJ remix of own and other artists' tracks)
  • 1999: "Splitrmx12" (12" vinyl promo limited to 3,000 copies)
  • 2008: "Quaristice " (Limited to 1,000 copies, contains remixes of 11 Quaristice tracks)
  • 2008: Digital Exclusive (3-track EP available only in the Japanese iTunes Store)

See also


External links

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