Boomkat Product Review:
We've always been of the opinion that much of Autechre's finest work could be found on their EP's and singles, so as far as we're concerned this gargantuan 47 track set pretty much reads like a connoisseur's best-of.
So much of the music contained within has been an integral part of our electronic music listening since the early 90's that the only way we could possibly tackle this compendium is with a large dose of nostalgia. When the Anti EP came it out in '94 it was in the midst of (and in reaction to) the criminal justice bill, and in particular that part of the legislation aimed squarely at rave culture: "By breaking this seal, you accept full responsibilty for any consequential action resulting from the product's use, as playing the music contained within these recordings may be interpreted as oppostion to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill." read the seal on the 12".
But the EP was more than just an exercise in smart-arsery, it also featured the groundbreaking "Flutter", programmed in such a way that the beats were non-repetetive (thus circumventing the legislation), but also ushering Autechre into a new, non-linear phase in their recording history, leading onto much of their post-Amber material and in effect the birth of the whole IDM movement - though all those fifth rate emulations really weren't their fault. Although it was released several years before 'Anti', it would take us until the tail-end of the 90's to lay our hands on a copy of 'Cavity Job'', the first Autechre twelve from 1991. It's never been available on any digital formats before - and vinyl copies still go for a small fortune - so its inclusion here is inspired and most welcome, giving many a first glimpse of Rob and Sean's earliest forays into Hardcore.
1995 was a fruitful year, fitting in two incredible EP's alongside the release of the still-singular sounding 'Tri Repetae': 'Garbage' and 'Anvil Vapre'. Split into two twelves, Anvil Vapre was as fierce and uncompromising as anything we'd heard from Ae upto that point, with pivotal track "Second Bad Vilbel" (twinned with Glossop don't you know) not only managing to almost pierce our eardrums the first time we put it on, but also gifting the world the first video work from Chris Cunningham. "Garbage" followed later on that year and contains probably one of the most played tracks ever here at the office - "Garbagemx36". WIth its dubbed-out chords and slowly creeping melody (the track clocks in at just under 15 minutes), it was a fleeting but perfectly formed flirtation with dub that sat perfectly alongside the first Macro Dub Infection compilation that came out at about the same time. If you haven't heard it before - it just owns.
Fast Forward to 1999 and you have what still counts for us, alongside LP5, as one of the best Autechre releases: EP7. Once again split into two vinyl parts, it found Booth and Brown at a creative peak, just before the algorithms took over. Highlights are too many to speak of, but the rolling drums and buried melodies of Maphive 6.1 still completely destroy us, every time. There's just so much left to mention, from the two Peel Sessions to Envane, Cichlisuite and Gantz Graf, and (notwithstanding the killer We R Are Why and Splitrmx 12"s which aren't included), pretty much all of Autechre's non-album material for Warp is here - and that really does make for a box full of treats for avid followers, and a little history lesson for those of you who never got with the programme back in the day.
In short: Essential.