Autechre Is Conflicted

Autechre Is Conflicted
If you're not sure what to make of the increasingly abstract experimentalism of the classic ambient duo Sean Booth and Rob Brown, a conversation with the polite and eloquent Brown won't help. Their newest album isn't quite as jarring as 2001's Confield, but fans who pick up Draft 7.30 will be reassured to hear that even its creators aren't quite sure what to make of their evolving experimental style.

"We've had a lot of responses from people suggesting that it's more accessible, and lately we've had a few more suggestions that it's the most hardcore thing we've done lately," says Brown. "We haven't really made our own minds up. We were so into what we were doing this time, there was a point when we finished the album that we were almost a bit self-conscious about whether anybody would really dig it — some of it may have seemed a bit dramatic in places or excessive in one way or another or maybe too minimal or too calm."
Few musical legends have proved so consistently inventive as Brown and partner Sean Booth, ranging from the opulent ambience of 1993's Incunabula to the naked minimalism of Tri Repetae in 1995, an album that made earlier Autechre virtually obsolete. Draft 7.30 continues the program, with candid disregard for conventional melodies.

"To us, melody is just part and parcel of the same thing that rhythm is, in a way. It's all tonal. You can have emotional rhythms, you can have emotional melodies, but you can also have emotional sounds. I think we've been just allowing those unbridled attempts at getting some of it down musically that may be different and special yet maybe doesn't perceive itself or prepare itself or lend itself to any idea of what's coming next."