Autechre : Confield

Electronic pioneers' sixth album of organised chaos

It would be easy to take the piss out the humanity-free artwork of ‘Confield’, but there is a certain purity to Autechre.

Namechecked by Radiohead, obsessed over by young men and royally ripped-off by thousands of lesser producers, Sean Booth and Rob Brown have stuck to their rave guns, shunning the spotlight and allowing their music to do the talking. Gloriously cynical, they’ve written their own press biog, under sufferance, for this album to avoid “biased twaddle” and “falsetto enthusiasm”.

‘Confield’ certainly bears such isolationist tendencies. Essentially more surgical sonic detritus, it is Autechre nuanced, minutely reprocessed and at the top of

their game.

The sterile schlurping of ‘Uviol’, the [I]Star Wars: The Horror Movie[/I] schtick of ‘Parhelic Triangle’, the atmospheric, strangulated melodies of ‘Sim Gishel’ ride on disjointed beats of startling, illogical fluidity. Between the mutant Kid606-ish hip-hop of ‘Pen Expers’ and the iridescent chimes of ‘Eidetic Casein’, ‘Confield’ is wide-ranging and, occasionally, genuinely edgy; the closing mania of ‘Lentic Catachresis’ is unlistenable, riotous, idiotic good fun. Indeed, rather than emotionally detached, ‘Confield’ sounds biologically warm, as freeform as the human body, and wildly, magically imaginative.

Tony Naylor