Autechre / The Hafler Trio aeo3/3hae

Known for a rich sense of humour, the Hafler Trio have produced aeo3/3hae, a beautiful 2-CD set that is their second collaborative effort with Autechre and as stunning in its appearance as it is in sound. I would guess this collaboration consisted of trading of tapes (or whatever media these two teams were using) back and forth between Iceland and UK. The first disc aeo3 is made up of one long half-hour calming sound. Like an approaching thunderstorm, the fury of the underlying sound is rather understated and wildly soft spoken. It’s only at the midway point that Autechre’s signature electronics come into view. Chaotically induced glitches cover the aural landscape. At the end, the piece fades away painfully and slowly into the thin air. Equally involving, 3hae features a score of sounds that draw you in from the get go. Metallic sounds, synthetic wind-like howling and gentle glittering of the sounds provide for a soothing listen. Don’t mistake this collaboration for ambient music, because it’s not. These are dangerous territories that are being mined — full of mystique and the unknown. These are the sounds of the lesser heard; the ones that are left by the wayside and ignored. In addition to the music, this limited edition of 1000 copies, which is nothing out of the ordinary for Die Stadt releases, is gorgeously packaged in a cloth box also containing some fascinating and mysterious black and white artwork. Bold sounds for a soulless world. (Die Stadt)