- Autechre's concision problem has been much discussed of late. Recent LPs Quaristice and Oversteps both clocked in at over an hour, and both were followed with weighty auxiliary EPs gathering up studio offcuts and alternate versions that the duo couldn't bear not to release. Their latest offering, Exai, was a knotty but often brilliant record; spread over two hours, its intimidating length was its only major flaw. And here we are again, with yet more material in the wake of that album, in the shape of the four-track, 27-minute L-event EP. Still, we shouldn't complain: where Exai's delights risked being suffocated by the sheer weight of the thing, this more svelte package gives space for these remarkable tracks to breathe.
As with Exai, no major new ground is broken here, but when the landscape is this vast, fascinating and intractably alien, there's no need. "tac Lacora" and "M39 Diffain" dovetail into one another, and are similarly grotty, endlessly iterative beat workouts. The glitch-mulch onslaught that opens the former is particularly mouth-watering. In each case, initially bewildering soundscapes gradually coalesce around just-recognisable hooks: a buried hip-hop groove here, a wheezing bassline there. "Osla for n," on the other hand, follows the opposite vector: its mangled hip-hop-drone opening is slowly leeched of momentum, drifting off into absence over eight minutes. The effect is a gradual disengagement of attention, but that encroaching boredom is not a shortcoming so much as a setup. Closer "newbound" explodes with icy colour; here, finally, the glistening synth work that has defined much of Autechre's recent output makes an appearance. The effect, delayed for so long, is wondrous.
A1 tac Lacora
A2 M39 Diffain
B1 Osla for n