Numbers, Glasgow School of Art, Sat 1 Feb
‘The same thing only now’ runs the tagline for Autechre’s ninth and latest album Quaristice. Whoever came up with that one was having a good day at the office, for the album continues the Warp-ensconced duo’s time-served reputation for free-roaming electronic experimentation.
Rob Brown, who formed the duo in Rochdale with Sean Booth more than 20 years ago, reports that this album’s genesis differed from Autechre’s usual working style. The pair’s studio was in storage as Booth was moving house at the time, so they attempted to make one final recording of the live set they were using at the time. ‘We wanted to get it out the way and move onto something new,’ says Brown. ‘But we ended up coming up with so many new pieces of music based on the live set that these actually became the new album.’
Their vintage and penchant for boffinry means that Autechre have helped pioneer a particular type of electronic live performance. ‘There was a time when the ideal was to create a live set you’d just need to press play for, though it wasn’t long before we started tinkering,’ says Brown. ‘We’d play in old gas chambers in Holland where the venue would dictate how we had to approach the set. So we’ve gained the experience, over the years, where we can go careering off in different directions and hope to still fall on our feet.’ The only thing that really remains the same about Autechre, of course, is that they continue to push against the future.