Taking Sides: Autechre vs. Aphex Twin

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Yeah if he'd never released druqks I wonder what my opinion of him might be today

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 3 May 2012 20:55 (five years ago) Permalink

It's not so much that album, it's his silence afterwards; I mean the Chems, Underworld, and Orbital all had questionable periods and bounced back, I just feel like he doesn't know what to do at this point or doesn't have the patience to write 100 acid tunes a year or whatever

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Thursday, 3 May 2012 20:59 (five years ago) Permalink

i miss him too but he has no obligation to keep churning out LPs

also, silence, hm:





hot slag (lukas), Thursday, 3 May 2012 21:11 (five years ago) Permalink

videos in which the differing qualities of the respective artists are perfectly reflected:



Touché Gödel (ledge), Thursday, 3 May 2012 21:40 (five years ago) Permalink

that's a useful bit of rhetorical compression, ledge

although i think autechre have more gantz grafs than aphex twin has windowlickers

nakhchivan, Thursday, 3 May 2012 21:54 (five years ago) Permalink

i remember that gantz graf video BLOWING MY MIND at the time. nowadays I prob wouldn't blink. I hate that there's a chewing gum ad on tv at the moment that basically wholesale rips off the beginning of windowlicker.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 3 May 2012 22:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Aphex, forever and always

I cannot host as my wife hates Walker (latebloomer), Thursday, 3 May 2012 22:10 (five years ago) Permalink

ı doubt rdj wıll ever make another serıous LP agaın. hıs dıscontent wıth the scene ıs so tangıble. all hıs releases from druqks onwards are to me the sound of someone who resents themselves and theır scene. ı don't blame hım eıther. the people who go to hıs gıgs and the general attıtude of ıdm fans ıs ımo depressıng. he's always been the prankster, but now ıt feels lıke he's just gıven up all together.

*would love to be wrong though*

KitevsPill, Friday, 4 May 2012 00:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Gantz Graf vs Come To Daddy videos might be a harder call (never liked windowlicker, but GG would still win).

odd that both artists are under-represented in the video front.

koogs, Friday, 4 May 2012 08:44 (five years ago) Permalink

they ain't exactly charting acts so it's not that surprising.

Touché Gödel (ledge), Friday, 4 May 2012 08:47 (five years ago) Permalink

xp what kind of general attitude would that be? autechre and aphex gigs attract different kinds of people in my experience. or different kinds of behaviour at least.

Touché Gödel (ledge), Friday, 4 May 2012 08:49 (five years ago) Permalink

Never really cared for either one, but at least in the early stages of his career Richard James some decent techno bangers, so that gives him a slight edge, I guess.

Tuomas, Friday, 4 May 2012 08:59 (five years ago) Permalink

"Richard James released"

Tuomas, Friday, 4 May 2012 09:00 (five years ago) Permalink

Not 'cooked' then?

Mark G, Friday, 4 May 2012 09:00 (five years ago) Permalink

On the other hand, you could say Aphex Twin's influence has been worse than Autechre's, since he was the figurehead (alongside µ-ziq and Squarepusher) of the horrible drill'n'bass sound that tainted a lot of electronic music in the latter half of the 90s – and you can still hear his crappy legacy in artists Skrillex.

Tuomas, Friday, 4 May 2012 09:10 (five years ago) Permalink

"in artists like"

Tuomas, Friday, 4 May 2012 09:11 (five years ago) Permalink

the people who go to hıs gıgs and the general attıtude of ıdm fans ıs ımo depressıng.

I'm rarely one to complain about acts because of their followers, but in some ways this is true. I remember the day I became disillusioned with the IDM scene, some time in 2003/4 at a night at Electrowerkz. I just remember feeling horrible and embarrassed to be there for some reason. On the other hand, when I ran an IDM community prior to that, I met some of the loveliest people imaginable, so maybe it was more a sign of the scene reaching saturation point.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Friday, 4 May 2012 09:36 (five years ago) Permalink

i love them both, but jesus, aphex, easily

Crackle Box, Friday, 4 May 2012 10:32 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah the whole "this is so fucking advanced" attitude kills me

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Friday, 4 May 2012 13:36 (five years ago) Permalink

the only people that listen to this in America are pretty much Tool fans

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Friday, 4 May 2012 13:39 (five years ago) Permalink

what does that even mean, Whiney

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Friday, 4 May 2012 14:05 (five years ago) Permalink

via idm dude

"Contemporary electronic music is plagued by near-universal adherence to boundaries and rules: the 4/4 dictum, standard half-dozen effects, groove fascism, dumbed-down melody and harmony, limited sonic palette, and so on. Trembling before rules stifles compositional chance-taking, which causes the dreaded “same old, same old” effect. It’s too rare these days to listen to a new track and think, “I’ve never heard anything like this before.”

That’s because e-musical creators have become too proper and boundary-kowtowing. Don’t fall into the well-behaved composer trap! You and your listeners deserve better. Cultivate, instead, a healthy disrespect for boundaries."

Crackle Box, Friday, 4 May 2012 14:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Hahaha! I'd say "the 4/4 dictum, standard half-dozen effects, groove fascism, dumbed-down melody and harmony, limited sonic palette, and so on" produced 10 times more good music than IDM ever did.

Tuomas, Friday, 4 May 2012 14:36 (five years ago) Permalink

I'd agree with that, but "healthy disrepect for boundries" is the key here. Sometimes I feel guys like Venetian Snares and Squarepusher do these things just to do them. At least when Autechre breaks boundries they do so with some internal logic.

I do hate that reasoning because it's so easy to say "maybe seek out some better music, fuckhead?" I mean people extolling the virtues of their favorite music maybe shouldn't be comparing it to Lady Gaga or the Black Eyed Peas, which is the type of music they seem to reference above.

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Friday, 4 May 2012 14:45 (five years ago) Permalink

As someone who came to electronic music via IDM, I remember thinking that the (misappropriated) "4/4" styles of house and techno were a bit boring (I would even have gone so far as to say "dumb" at the time). My attitude back then was akin to that of a prog fan sneering at contemporary 70s rock - that it lacked refinement, imagination, musicianship etc... But that wasn't what originally appealed to me about things like Aphex Twin and Autechre - it was the sheer shock of the new, and I soon realised that IDM was starting to ossify into about 3-4 clear categories defined by the major Warp acts. So while Autechre, Aphex, BoC and Plaid WERE making exciting, original music, there were umpteen snooty little bedroom producers making carbon copies of those sounds whilst looking down on an entire universe of electronic music for being "samey". The reason Aphex and Autechre are great is because they sounded like nothing else and that there was method to their madness.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Friday, 4 May 2012 15:20 (five years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 7 May 2012 00:01 (five years ago) Permalink

KitevsPill, what happened to the i's in your second post?

Pot Leeedom (Leee), Monday, 7 May 2012 01:03 (five years ago) Permalink

You've got to be careful with your 'i's in Turkey: http://gizmodo.com/382026/a-cellphones-missing-dot-kills-two-people-puts-three-more-in-jail
(sorry for depressing off-topic link)

instant coffee happening between us (a passing spacecadet), Monday, 7 May 2012 09:16 (five years ago) Permalink

autechre have nothing as overwhelming (for me) as 'saw II', but in the long run ('amber', 'tri repetae' or even 'confield') they win. besides, they're also better remixers.

rusty_allen, Monday, 7 May 2012 13:45 (five years ago) Permalink

how do people listen to SAWII? all at once or in chunks? i've always found it overwhelming in a bad way.

guess it's Honker Burger tonight...#fml (frogbs), Monday, 7 May 2012 13:48 (five years ago) Permalink

passively? How do people listen to Perlence Subrange 6-36?

Lowell N. Behold'n, Monday, 7 May 2012 21:19 (five years ago) Permalink

i want twelve eps of autechre's take on analord acid.

Lowell N. Behold'n, Monday, 7 May 2012 21:23 (five years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 00:01 (five years ago) Permalink

srsly surprised, kind of pleased kind of disappointed cuz u know ilm

nakhchivan, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 00:25 (five years ago) Permalink

After AE rolling the last several tronica polls, I'm not too surprised.

Frankly, I prefer "Perlence Subrange 6-36" to SAWII (though I probably only have the US version).

Pot Leeedom (Leee), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 02:33 (five years ago) Permalink

42 cloth eared fools

Crackle Box, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 10:58 (five years ago) Permalink

Can't believe I'm in the majority, what a disaster for anti-populism.

Touché Gödel (ledge), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 11:01 (five years ago) Permalink

this is versus gd afx twin tho, leee

nakhchivan, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 12:06 (five years ago) Permalink

the same aphex twin who nearly won in this poll

who is your favourite among these celebrated ppl named on ilx site new answers?

vs godard, kelis, other ilx faves

nakhchivan, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 12:07 (five years ago) Permalink

shit i missed this :(

Aphex Twin classic or Dud?


Ludo, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 12:38 (five years ago) Permalink

(oh the link disappeared, prolly better that way)

Ludo, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 12:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Eh, not an RDJ fan much to begin with.

Anyway, at this rate, we could poll Autechre vs. this kitten and AE would win.

Pot Leeedom (Leee), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 04:46 (five years ago) Permalink

i like both autechre and aphex a lot (meaning i have like ten releases from each that i never listen to) but autechre winning it seems rather wrong imo

the late great, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 06:41 (five years ago) Permalink

kinda like picking a really fine quality knife over a whole drawer of good cutlery

the late great, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 06:42 (five years ago) Permalink

Is that analogy suggesting that AE's discography is one big peak and then nothing? There's good cutlery in AE's drawer. Some of the most beautiful ambient stuff in early career, sure, but I think I've listened even more to the chaotic Drafts and especially my favorite, the (relatively speaking) underrated Untilted - so funky, so fun. Lots of different aspects to them. Sure Aphex has the ambient works and his drill and bass, but he's more of a one trick guy within those two categories. Autechre's tried out different ideas for each of their albums in their chaotic, 'difficult' phase. Which most people don't appreciate as much as their earlier stuff, but back then as well there was a sense of progression and innovation for each album.

abcfsk, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 07:03 (five years ago) Permalink

Aphex's stuff has aged much worse than Autechre's - hate to say it but it's true. A lot of the values expressed in Aphex's music: extreme eclecticism, confrontational humour (paedo jokes and whatnot), DIY production, seem very much of their time.
Autechre lacked all these, which to many 90s listeners made them seem a little dry and faceless - the typical bedroom technobods getting a sallow tan from their computer screens etc.. Whereas Aphex was always the cheeky, pranksterish face of leftfield electronica - terrorising his poor ma and pa with music made in a a tank or a bank, dressed up as a teddy, screaming at pensioners whilst simultaneously being compared to Mozart in the broadsheet supplements.
People are more attuned to the idea of the "serious" techno producer these days I guess.
There's no social stigma surrounding computers and the internet like there was in the nineties (no longer simply the domain of geeks). And lyrics like "ooh you dirty little boy" or "tampax tampax tampax" aren't so much irreverent as embarrassing in today's landscape.
Aphex Twin was the most up to date musician of his time whereas Autechre's feet were planted firmly in the future, so much so that a lot of their sounds only make sense years after the fact (I'm still getting my head around Confield tbh).

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 09:36 (five years ago) Permalink

yes! and there must be a million knob-twiddlers out there, how many people are doing incomprehensible stuff with nasa-level control panels? i guess there's a bunch of ae copyists churning out identikit max/msp stuff but that's not what i mean. sean or rob once said that with all the software out there there's no reason for anyone to sound like anyone else. it's a beautiful dream.

Touché Gödel (ledge), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 10:31 (five years ago) Permalink

I've never heard an Autchre melody that had anywhere near the affect on my that Flim has.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 10:36 (five years ago) Permalink

About 8 or 9 years ago I read an interview with Aphex where he said he'd thrown out a whole bunch of four-on-the-floor records saying they were useless (or somesuch). Two years ago I saw him play a set of straight-up techno bangers. Guy's pretty inconsistent in interviews, but that made me laugh a bit.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:10 (five years ago) Permalink

i think your definition of breaking ground is different to mine. i mean he's always taken an older style and put his spin on it. the analord stuff takes established dance forms but beefs everything up with fat analogue synths, and it's not like he's just got a 303 or a pro-1 and a few drum machines, the sound design is pretty unique to him. he's also pushing the boundaries of the form in typical aphex style. hyper dense, challenging music. the same as he's always done. and on top of all that, it bangs like a daddy.

Crackle Box, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:13 (five years ago) Permalink

IIRC he claimed he made RDJ album short because he thought long albums were boring, despite having already released SAWII, pretty much the epitome of "long and tedious" (as brilliant as it is!)

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:13 (five years ago) Permalink

maybe releasing it all the Analord stuff on expensive, limited vinyl wasn't a smart move? because I would agree, that stuff is plenty good

"Chosen Lords", in my opinion, doesn't really capture the best stuff, from what I've heard. The thing is that it's really the same stuff he's always done as AFX, neat acid junk that really has the mark of a man who composes like 250 tracks a year and doesn't have much time to work on them, but I prefer the Analords to the Analogue Bubblebaths (which have awesome tracks but as a whole are kinda...eh)

― frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 16:09 (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

This. I lost patience with the series as I haven't had a record player (or storage for records) until recently. Plus it's a mammoth collection to sift through. Think the series was good for obsessives, but a terrible commercial mis-step. I'm sure he doesn't give a hoot, but it completely wrongsided fans like me who'd been disappointed by Druqks and would have preferred an approach like ICBYD.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:15 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure how much he cares about commercial success, but is he really still just living off money from his 1996-1998 heyday? It's not like he tours much.

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:17 (five years ago) Permalink


Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:18 (five years ago) Permalink

radiohead fans

Crackle Box, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:22 (five years ago) Permalink

He must make a fair amount of dosh each time there's a TV documentary about the paranormal.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:26 (five years ago) Permalink

plus I guess pretty much everything from SAWII was licensed out

IIRC they used "4" in some kind of anti-drug advert which struck me as really odd

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Orange (?) probably paid a fair few for To Cure A Weakling Child too.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:33 (five years ago) Permalink

didn't that series "Jam" use a ton of Aphex music

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:34 (five years ago) Permalink

aphex still plays too and probably makes mad $$$ every time he does

afaict lots of retired or semi-retired electronica dudes make a lot of scratch hush-hush on the side doing uncredited sound design for tv, commercials, movies, video games, etc

not sure if aphex is doing that or not but i know a lot of other people are

the late great, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:35 (five years ago) Permalink

like who

Crackle Box, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:38 (five years ago) Permalink

i know richard devine's stuff is everywhere but he's hardly retired or anything

Crackle Box, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:46 (five years ago) Permalink

xxpost I know a handful of local producers who do this - it's very common and good money. Wouldn't be surprised if that's how a lot of ex-popular musicians get their beer money.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:47 (five years ago) Permalink

i encounter loads of people that say they do this, but in reality they sit around smoking spliffs and maybe do a job or two a year for like an iphone game that never gets released. and there are libraries and companies that specialise in this stuff now.

Crackle Box, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:56 (five years ago) Permalink

That's probably what I'd be doing too if I was a washed up bedroom producer. Sounds great.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 16:04 (five years ago) Permalink

good autechre article for the geeks



"The worst things are the timeline sequencers where you can see on the screen what's coming up. That really f**ks with your head when you're listening."

Crackle Box, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 16:07 (five years ago) Permalink

one prominent example would be photek - that's basically what he was doing from 2000 to 2010

another two i know about by name are neil landstrumm, who did sound for playstation games iirc, and gold chains, who basically quit recording to do sound design for mtv promo spots

the late great, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 16:19 (five years ago) Permalink


am0n, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 16:40 (five years ago) Permalink

ae PWND AGANE by afx


the late great, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 17:08 (five years ago) Permalink


worth a click through though

the late great, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 17:10 (five years ago) Permalink


the late great, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 17:11 (five years ago) Permalink

i remember that. the venetian snares one cracked me up

am0n, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 17:31 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah i remember hearing about that and thinking it was photoshopped, but sure enough

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 20:15 (five years ago) Permalink

that face is great. and it sounds otherworldly.

the live face recognition / remapping thing also fantastic.

but i still voted ae.

koogs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 22:34 (five years ago) Permalink

Is it just me, or is "Clipper" (and I guess other bits of "Tri Repetae") the closes Autechre came to sounding a lot like Aphex, or at least not dissimilar?

Not to me. I always thought that Amber was their most Aphexy album.

Pot Leeedom (Leee), Thursday, 10 May 2012 03:54 (five years ago) Permalink

In fact, I still think that "Nil" sounds an awful lot like "Schottkey 7th Path."

Pot Leeedom (Leee), Thursday, 10 May 2012 03:56 (five years ago) Permalink


hot slag (lukas), Thursday, 10 May 2012 05:11 (five years ago) Permalink

... is awesome

Touché Gödel (ledge), Thursday, 10 May 2012 08:41 (five years ago) Permalink

really like the lego feet EPs, probably more than any gescom except the immortal detroit techno masterpiece that is TWO OF

the late great, Thursday, 10 May 2012 14:34 (five years ago) Permalink

Hah, listened to Confield for the first time in ages, and sure, I can see why folks might think that one is taking the piss.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 May 2012 14:35 (five years ago) Permalink

oi mates some granular synthesis is all over me bloody techno lp im going to make me an orrible post about it to me ilxor chums

tebow kortwa (nakhchivan), Thursday, 10 May 2012 14:37 (five years ago) Permalink

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