Boomkat Product Review:
Autechre albums come accompanied by their own set of instructions, demanding your undivided attention, a good sound system and a sufficiently high volume to illuminate proceedings as they were initially intended. They also require a considerable ingestion period, allowing enough time for your brain and senses to catch up with the seemingly impenetrable configurations and sonic algorithm's that seem to unfold before you. Those listeners who aren't willing to invest their time and participation in this slowly unravelling but ultimately highly rewarding process will fall by the wayside and write Autechre off as sonically obtuse characters too smart for their own good. Persevere, though, and you gain understanding of a sonic vocabulary rich with subtle nuances and surprisingly accessible flourishes - so much so that you to start to wonder what seemed so impenetrable in the first place. It's odd, therefore, to play Quaristice for the first time and not be struck by the same sense of bewilderment. This is an album that actually seems to register more or less on first listen, it seems to speak a language you can follow, even if you're not quite as fluent with it as you'd like to be. And the effect seems to be deliberate - the album kicks off with "Altibzz", a lovely melodic soundscape that's so light and warm it could almost have been lifted straight off Incanabula or Amber, while the 20 track sequence seems to follow a kind of short-but-sweet agenda that must have had the more impatient listener in mind. The writing process has apparently also changed, brought on by the physical necessities of a more portable recording environment and a method of track construction that has more in common with Autechre's live setup than with their more traditional studio configuration. The tracks on Quaristice are more fluid and effortless then you could possibly expect, offering snapshots, segments of tracks that must have started life as lengthier, untreated organisms, and which will no doubt continue to evolve and mutate long after this album has hit the shelves. That's not to say that "Quaristice" isn't a complex entity, nor that there aren't moments of sheer sonic mayhem dotted around the album, but the overall impact is more immediate and instantly palatable than anything Ae have released since the mighty LP5, a record that's now shockingly almost 10 years old. For all of that, it's also the most instantly enjoyable Autechre album for some time, and the prospect that there are further rewards buried deep within its layers, nestled in its crevices, is almost too tantalising for words... ESSENTIAL PURCHASE.