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Text by Lucia Davies

Autechre Return

The equally influential and experimental electronic duo catch up with Dazed

The Rochdale duo Rob Brown and Sean Booth, aka Autechre, are well known for their experimental electronic music that has been playing on radios and around clubs since they formed in 1987. Synonymous with the label Warp Records the pair have come a long way from their first release ‘Lego Feet’. Ten albums and 13 EPs later the IDM (intelligent dance music) of Autechre has evolved and transformed into what it is today. Their music is often described as ambient, alien and subconscious as they play out subdued sounds of synths, cut ups and delicate sequences to haunting effect. The overlap, hum and gurgle of their tracks is like going on a hallucinatory, musical trip that you never want to end. We speak to the two long-timers about their sound and melodic journey.

Dazed Digital: You've been making music for quite a while now, how do you feel your sound has changed or progressed over time?

Autechre: Really hard to say, it's hard enough to keep track of how much it changes over a year. we go through sessions of about two - three months usually, then we get itchy and change things round and start again. We don't try to push it in any particular direction, we just do what we like at the time.

Usually the sessions differ from each other quite a bit, and there's no obvious thread or narrative (as soon as we become aware of a common thread we compile an album from what's there and start all over again). This method (or lack of) means it's hard for us to take such a long view. We're so close to it, and there's so much more that we're aware of than a listener would be. Most of what we do never even gets played to anyone else. It gets really confusing.

DD: Having been so influential in electronic music, who do you think has influenced yourselves?
Autechre: Well, probably everything we ever heard, but there's some stuff that sticks out. there's not really room to put everything and we probably forgot a ton of stuff, but this would be a pretty good list of stuff we like (roughly in the order we heard them): Jjean Michel Jarre, Giorgio Moroder, Human League, Vangelis, Ultravox, John Carpenter, Kraftwerk, Grace Jones, Juan Atkins, Depeche Mode, Public Enemy, EPMD, Derrick May, Carl Craig, Baby Ford, 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, LFO, Joey Beltram, Mark Broom, RZA, Squarepusher, Venetian Snares... etc, plus some of the stuff below.

DD: What is your production process together like?
Autechre: Pretty much freeform. we share tons of stuff, from raw ideas to almost-finished tracks, depending how the track's going. We don't have a fixed routine at all.

DD: What do you try to achieve with your DJ sets? Just getting people to dance, or is it more about a flow and a structure?
Autechre: Bit of both really. most of our sets are kind of 'radio sets'. There's quite a lot you can do on the radio that you wouldn't necessarily get away with in a club. We grew up taping tracks and mixes off the radio cos we were way too young to hear any of that music out, in the early days we were listening to long mixes from mcr DJs like Greg Wilson, Stu Allan, Chad J. That's probably influenced us quite a bit.

DD: Who are you listening to at the moment?
Sog, Mmm, Trim, Cylob, Bok Bok, Philipp Quehenberger, Black Milk, Phat Kat, The U.N., Oddisee, 9th Wonder, Slum Village Fantastic Vol2 Instrumentals, Little Brother, Roddy Rod, Elzhi, Guilty Simpson, Kyle Hall, Altered Natives, Maniac, G Frsh, S-X, Terror Danjah, Oneohtrix Point Never, Slugabed, Africa Hitech, Devlin, Dark Sky, Zomby, Ramadanman, Pinch, Untold, Dot Rotten, Rob Hood, Becoming Real, Mike Slott, Last Step, Decapitated, Unreleased AE, and tons of old stuff

DD: What's next?
Auetchre: No idea whatsoever.