17 Songs, 2 Hours

EDITORS’ NOTES

If anyone's capable of making two hours of chainlinked processors and meticulous programming sound compelling and downright human, it's Autechre: two of the last producers standing from IDM's glory days. Hip-hop heads at heart, Rob Brown and Sean Booth channel their B-boy roots by heading back to the future, a place overrun with laser-guided loops, bold drum breaks, and surface tension samples that are about as subtle as a medicine ball to the face. Yet Exai is strangely musical, referencing everything from warehouse-rave head rushes ("Jatevee C") to tortured ambient techno ("Bladelores") in its pursuit of postmodern bliss points. You may need a few breathers over the course of these two gear-shifting LPs, but that's to be expected with music this expressive and extreme. It's no small feat, considering Autechre unveiled its first album—the much more docile Incunabula—two decades ago. If anything, the duo is only getting more insane with age.

EDITORS’ NOTES

If anyone's capable of making two hours of chainlinked processors and meticulous programming sound compelling and downright human, it's Autechre: two of the last producers standing from IDM's glory days. Hip-hop heads at heart, Rob Brown and Sean Booth channel their B-boy roots by heading back to the future, a place overrun with laser-guided loops, bold drum breaks, and surface tension samples that are about as subtle as a medicine ball to the face. Yet Exai is strangely musical, referencing everything from warehouse-rave head rushes ("Jatevee C") to tortured ambient techno ("Bladelores") in its pursuit of postmodern bliss points. You may need a few breathers over the course of these two gear-shifting LPs, but that's to be expected with music this expressive and extreme. It's no small feat, considering Autechre unveiled its first album—the much more docile Incunabula—two decades ago. If anything, the duo is only getting more insane with age.

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