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Albums Of The Week: Autechre | Sign

The Manchester electronica duo's 14th studio set returns to their earlier concision.


THE PRESS RELEASE:Sign is Autechre’s first new album since Elseq and contains some of their most emosh compositions in eons, perhaps since Tri Repetae. Practically pocket-sized in comparison to their sprawling torrent of live material and radio recordings in recent years, Sign is a return to the sort of concision found circa Exai and their earlier albums.

Effectively they’ve gotten better to grips with their live set-up, and the hyper ideas found in their work-in-progress demonstrations on the five volume Elseq and eight hours of NTS Sessions have been refined into moments of crystalline ambient baroque beauty and liquid-limbed swag on Sign. After their music has undergone what could be called a growth spurt in recent years, the acrid plasma of their complex, hyper-inorganic systems feels to congeal, create more intricate snaps across the album, from the lush cosmic collisions of M4 Lema to the rhizomic arp weaving on F7, while refining their tendons and muscle in the gyrostep of au14 and such.mefd2.

The anthropomorphisation of their synthesis accelerates with the album’s second half, with the elegiac catharsis of Metaz form8 displaying a greater emotional intelligence, while their shapeshifting synthesis grows semblances of glowing hair and teeth and skin in th red a, and even a plaintive human heartache in the systolic thud and bloo pads of psin AM that rawly bleeds out in the album’s future classic closer r cazt. This LP was hinted at by Autechre as one of two albums ready for 2020, so we’ll take it this is their “U Ok Hun?” one to some possibly more hardcore turns in the future. Have it.”