Is IDM cool again? Like even calling things IDM? We think so. Now, there’s probably lots we could say about Autechre, but that’d take precious time away from you listening to all the Autechre-y Autechre that just Autechred into your Autechre. So, let’s just cover the facts, ma’am, in quick order – and they’re all pretty awesome. Of course, spoiler, all your fellow music nerd friends have been talking about nothing else on their Facebook feed today, but at least we can put this all in one convenient location:

1. There’s a new release. Autechre just dropped a five-album (five!) release, Elseq 1-5. Oh, you thought Exai was big (2013), with only 17 tracks and 2 CDs and 4 vinyl records? Now you get 21 tracks, 5 albums, and about four hours of music.

Digital only, 33-55€. Drill down and buy individual bits if you prefer. I think you should buy the 24-bit version, put it on a special hard drive you buy for the purpose, and connect to your computer with a gold-plated Thunderbolt cable and then invite your friends over for a listen.


2. No streaming. No, you can’t stream it. I couldn’t get an official quote from the label, but what I have been able to psychically probe from their thoughts was “F*** you Spotify and Apple Music.” Direct (psychic) quote. (This is the future, I think, as forcing downloads will be the only thing that saves them.)

3. Seriously no streaming. No, you can’t even stream previews on other sites. Previews are only on the Warp site. (This is probably the future, too, at least for Famous People. The rest of us will be YouTube-previewing everything we can, natch.)

Oh no! You're not a real nerd if you weren't all over Warp's Alaskan radio rip before they pulled it down. Don't be caught napping.

Oh no! You’re not a real nerd if you weren’t all over Warp’s Alaskan radio rip before they pulled it down. Don’t be caught napping.

4. PR plan: let’s go Fairbanks. Here’s a promo concept: premiere music on BBC 6Music (of course!) and a college radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska called KSUA (wait, huh?). Rip the radio appearance from Alaskan radio. Post it to SoundCloud, officially as Warp Records. Then promptly remove the recording and force people to buy the downloads. Genius.


Five years ago, if someone did this, I’d say it was some sort of underground hipster chic. In 2016, going that strange may actually be the only antidote to an oversaturated media market. I would have loved to be on the other end of the phone line when Autechre called, though.

5. The Longest Cut. That’ll be “elyc6 0nset,” 27″.

6. Disney hearts IDM now, too. More IDM is the new EDM evidence: media megagiant “we own everything nerdy now” Disney have gone to the likes of Warp artists to remix Giorgio Moroder in a soundtrack to the video game TRON RUN/r by Giorgio Moroder and Raney Shockney. What do kids like today? Oh, probably Plaid and Bibio and … Patten! Also, you get yet more Autechre to add to the above, in the form of a remix of “611 Time Out.” IMM – Intelligent Moroder Music.

RUN/r Forrest, RUN/r!

RUN/r Forrest, RUN/r!

7. Who’s Autechre? Heh. If you want to catch up, FACT have put together a nice “essential” guide.

By the way, speaking of obscure, you know if I were a huge IDM fan and wanted to stick it to the Music Press, I would probably do an interview with the world’s, um, third(?) biggest music tech site where most people expect news about an Arduino-controlled LEGO step sequencer, and then I’d talk to them. Just… gonna put that out there. It’s totally the Alaskan radio of online music news, if you think about it. Rob. Or… someone.

Have a very merry Autechre, everyone, and God Autechre us, every one.


Now let’s go download, because:

  • chaircrusher

    Are you there Peter, It’s me, Kent!

    1. You can buy individual parts, e.g.
    2. If you drill down to the individual ‘EP’ pages, you can listen to track excepts.

    • Botched that; sorry. 1. Yep! 2. yeah, totally, I meant on other sites but got that wrong …

      • chaircrusher

        I know, nobody likes a smartass. But at least it’s the internet, and you can correct niggles like this.

  • Ok, Autechre is cool. But charging 22€ for a better encoding of the music? this isn’t fair : the music was anyway recorded at the best quality! In the past, the quality of the sound was depending on the qualities of the physical support holding the music. Today a vinyl record is more expensive than a CD because it’s more expensive to produce. But charging more just for a different size of a file is the wrong way to do. If you are poor = you only deserve lesser rate encoded music!

    • foljs

      More like: if you’re an audiophile who thinks FLAC and $99 Monster Cables are great, pay for the privilege of listening to something you couldn’t tell apart in a blind A/B test over a lesser encoding.

      • Dan Findlay

        You can buy a Big Mac for $0.99 or you can buy a Big Mac *not smeared in cat shit for $1.59* … that’s what this is. A monkey can tell the difference between FLAC and MP3, so charging more for the base digital file is gouging your audience.

        • Random Chance

          I get a vague “Planet of the Apes” feeling from this post. Anyway, I like the comparison of Autechre’s music to Big Macs. That’s a thought that had not previously occurred to me. 😉


          • Nah, let Donald Trump handle that.

        • foljs

          ” A monkey can tell the difference between FLAC and MP3″

          Actually mostly monkeys DO believe there is a difference.

          Every scientific blind A/B/A test showed nobody can tell between 320Kbps mp3 and FLAC (or totally uncompressed which is the same). And that’s on good studio monitor speakers.

          On your average speaker or headphones? LOL…

          People just delude themselves they can hear the difference. A blind A/B/A proves they are just BS themselves — one of many psychological biases and self-dellusions people have.

          • Wait, maybe the monkeys have better hearing than we do? 🙂

            I would *really* like to set up a blind A/B testing facility in Berlin; it’d be great to just administer tests regularly!

          • Omran Shilunte

            some do also have a better taste than most humans i´ve met.

          • Stephan Mathieu

            Audio ABX testing is the same as rushed mattress ABX testing at Ikea. You probably won’t be able to tell a difference unless it will scream at you. ABX proves nothing. If nobody can tell a difference between 320kbs and lossless anyway, why do people bother to record, produce, master, re-master audio 24-Bit_say_96kHz?

            But since we are talking about Autechre’s 24-Bit WAVs here, I 100% agree with you. Those recordings, just like the recent AE_LIVE series are so heavily compressed and clipped that a 192kbs mp3 is all it takes to bring their message and sound quality across. It’s laughable and certainly gives “24-Bit” a bad name. A shit production @24 Bit remains a shit production, while with a production carefully done in hi res even you may hear a difference. All this while elseq 2 plays in my studio, at 1/4 average listening volume.

          • foljs

            “””Audio ABX testing is the same as rushed mattress ABX testing at Ikea. You probably won’t be able to tell a difference unless it will scream at you. ABX proves nothing.”””

            Actually ABX testing, and more specifically blind ABX testing, is the most perfect and accurate way to measure such a difference. Anything else is just make believe.

            What you are saying is the totally bogus “I can’t call it when I hear it with any more than coin toss certainty, but I’m pretty sure there’s something there”…

            “””If nobody can tell a difference between 320kbs and lossless anyway, why do people bother to record, produce, master, re-master audio 24-Bit_say_96kHz?”””

            That’s an easy question. I take it you’re not familiar with audio science?

            It’s because 24/96 bit gives more headroom for capturing dynamics and subsequent processing, especially for anything destructive (as the internal processing in the DAW will happen in 32 bit fp anyway in most cases). In fact a lot of producers don’t even bother with the increased 96Khz resolution, as 24/44.1 (or 48 for tv/cinema work) is just fine.

            As for the reason we have such releases also for end-users, well, there’s a sucker born every minute and companies would be stupid not to take their money.

            It’s like those $1000 audiophile cables, but a much easier sell.

          • Stephan Mathieu

            Sampling rate is not about dynamics but the frequency spectrum that can be represented in a recording. While I agree with hardly anything you have to say, I’m with you in terms of money business and full res downloads. It’s plain cash milking in 2016.

          • Stephan Mathieu

            Longer term listening of lossy material, even at 320k, gives me a headache because of the clipping involved. Music has no body or air, just a fake of it. Now play the Monty @ inventor of Ogg Vorbis audio crippling card and you’ll lose me completely.

          • Stephan Mathieu

            I suggest you try some butt naked full res listening with a nice system, too ; )

          • Stephan Mathieu

            One reason for the terrible sound, apart from the heavy compression on Autechre’s recent digital releases, is that they are 24-Bit_44.1kHz. Looking at the spectrum of any of those tracks you will notice that the frequency energy at 22k is just as strong as it is in the audible range of just above 12k. The fact that this stuff has been brick-walled by the limitations of the 44.1k rate has it sound heavily clipped. So, if your instruments will refuse to stop sounding at 22k, record at 96kHz, or use an EQ. Well, use an EQ and your audio may not sound as you want it to sound anymore. In case you, foljs have digested your Helmholtz you must have heard about harmonics and how they enhance each other. Why would harmonics outside the human hearing range not affect the stuff we can clearly hear? Because Neil Young wants to sell snake oil?

          • Jakob Penca

            I’m sorry but that reads like nutty audiophile babbling. I don’t believe you when you say you can hear a difference.

          • Stephan Mathieu

            Fair enough. I’m not an audiophile, though. I’m a rather down to earth mastering engineer and I have produced around 40 albums and EPs of my own music during the last 20 years. I love my equipment and I see no point in killing it’s character with a compressor/limiter running amok. So, I listen to the stuff excessively while fine tuning the sound. I can tell mp3 immediately, not only of music I was involved with. It’s very easy. In many cases I can also tell whether a master was converted to 16_44.1. For a CD production I’m doing this for clients and I can spot if one of my masters has folded.

            Talking about this specific release here, it will sound bad in any format, unless you’re used to listen to music from Youtube. The master is garbled to begin with and I wouldn’t care if it wasn’t for the fact that Æ is responsible for Bleep carrying 24-Bit files at all. Without being an audiophile, I love the fact – as long as the production is worth it and makes use of the format.

            Charging extra *only* for excessive file size is pointless and I’m questioning a certain quality control in the first place. Neither Æ nor Warp are kids who just came up with ‘my first album’, I can’t imagine we’re looking at a stylistic decision, either. All that said, I wish elseq would sound so much better, it certainly has some great tracks and I like the idea of a super extended release.

            Jakob, what do you think of ‘elseq 1-5’? Which format did you buy?

          • Jakob Penca

            bought the 24wavs, but mostly because I wanted to support them… but I agree with your critique of the silliness of charging differently for different file types.

            it’s such a vast release, I don’t want to attach a rating to it yet, still taking it in… many favorites, a standout track currently is elyc6 0nset, such a fun mess 🙂
            pendulu hv moda is super cool too….

            sonically, I don’t really like mesh cinereal, there is some distorted resonance or something which tickles me the wrong way somehow…

            I probably don’t have the equipment/ears/experience to hear bad mastering etc… it sounds really good to me tbh, and as with most ae music it wants to be played banging loud…

          • III

            are you deaf or just retarded?

          • Martin Zimmermann

            You’re right I have here many FLAC and 320 kbps MP3 files….I confess that I cannot tell the difference(If I wouldn’t see which file I play) in Sound quality in most of the cases….I use good HW actually….on the other hand…an Uncompressed audio 16 bit (CD) or higher sounds always better…

    • chaircrusher

      Uncompressed 16 bit definitely better than MP3 unless all you care about is earbuds and your phone. The 24-bit surcharge, not so much. It would pay if you were planning to process the sound further — i.e. DJing on an audiophile-grade PA. But I doubt Paris Hilton or Steve Aoki is going to DJ Autechre any time soon. Skrillex, maybe. Surgeon, definitely.

      • Eisenhower303

        Have you done a legitimate blind A/B test before? I have, with good studio monitors and nice headphones. You’d be surprised how good properly encoded MP3s can sound…

        • chaircrusher

          No I know precisely how good properly encoded MP3s can sound. Pretty good. But an uncompressed file through proper converters can sound better, especially for acoustic music recorded in a reverberant space. Techno crushed to -8dB RMS is going to sound like ass everywhere, so how it’s encoded doesn’t matter so much.

  • Dr Dopolopopadobbolopagoolagee

    55 euro ?? Gougechre. It’s as if they’re trying to promote piracy.

  • wndfrm

    much of this material sounds a bit like post chiastic, pre confield material to me, with some gescom MD thrown in.. i wouldn’t be surprised if it was repurposed bits from that era. i like it!

  • Great to see an article on Autechre here, though if you’re going for the full “hours and hours and hours” angle you should probably also mention that they released 9 live sets late last year (available from the same AE_STORE) which total over 9 additional hours and hours and hours of Autechre 🙂 The elseq ep’s probably originated from live sets as well – elseq = Edited Live SEQuences?

  • Eisenhower303

    Huge Autechre fan here, but I wasn’t into their last few releases. These EPs, from what I’ve heard, are much more to my liking. They remind me somewhat of Untilted, although like their last few releases, I still perceive a fair bit of generative music here. The largest difference between these EPs and Exai are that the sounds have much more room to breath – Exai was very sonically dense. Autechre the virtuosos of modern digital music, and anyone interested in sound synthesis should pick these EPs up. You’ll hear sounds you’ve never heard.

  • Rich Conrad

    wow this is already on torrent sites lol