reviews

Tri Repetae

1.'Tri Repetae' by Aron Coleman from www.almostcool.org

Autechre has never exactly been know as a group that give you warm fuzzies, but on this release they pushed the harsh boundaries of their electronic music into an even more cold state. While Incunabula soothed with warm pads and lush sounds, Amber roughed up those edges ever so slightly before the musicians Booth and Brown really stripped things down and got downright jagged for this release. One of the best parts about this release is that you not only get the 70+ minute album of Tri Repetae, but the group has also tagged on two import-only single releases in the form of a second disc (that also runs well over 70 minutes). With this release, the group has produced some of the longest running tracks they've ever done to date as well, which for some people will mean monotony, while others will simply relish the extended textures.
The opening disc starts out with a huge blast of flatulatory bass and soon the track is offset with all kinds of clicks and clanks that echo all over and make you feel like you're in the middle of a controlled machine breakdown. Really, that theme seems to run throughout the two discs, whether it's implied directly through the inside album cover art or simply in clanging, but controlled tones that comprise the discs. "Clipper" is a long track with all kinds of garbled electronic chatter and a fuzzed-out beat, but it works with the underlying rhythm that changes ever so slightly while subtle changes take place in the foreground. Some tracks do tend to drag on too long without enough of a discernable change (like "Leterel"), but perhaps that was just another point that the group was trying to make with the album. Most of the time, we still have control of the machines, but every once in awhile the machines have control of us. They also manage to lay down some amazing ambient work near the end of the disc that recalls work like Aphex Twins Selected Ambient Works Volume 2 on tracks like "Overand" (with really high-pitched tones that peak into the mix) and the electronic/digeridoo-esque sounds of "Rsdio."
The Anvil Vapre EP (the first of two contained on the second disc) starts out with the absolute classic song of "Second Bad Viibel." Not only did the track feature a video by Chris Cunningham (of "Windowlicker" and "Come To Daddy" fame), but it's nearly impossible to listen to the clunking, fuzzed-out epic without images of demented robots coming to mind. The EP also contains the amazing (and also very long) "Second Peng," which might be one of the creepier ambient/IDM tracks you ever hear (hint: turn it way up on headphones while listening in the dark). The dark, harsh sounds continue on the Garbage EP as well, and "Garbagemx36" may also find you shivering as you listen to the cold syths and creeping glitch noises that scurry along through the track.
Overall, the disc is a very solid release from the group and another one that is fairly essential in terms of the IDM genre. Because it is such a long release, it's not something that's very instantly accessible in terms of listening (I'll admit that it didn't start sinking in for me until after the second listen). Given the patience, though, one may just find that the complex structures and tracks start to grow nearly every time you listen to it (whether it's as background music or with cradled headphones as mentioned above). It's darker than the groups previous work, and a bit more harsh, but no less interesting.

2.'Tri Repetae' by Lorin Reed from isnotwas

Autechre does music that can only be described as...well...Autechre. From their earlier material (Incunabula, Amber) all the way up to their newer releases (Autechre, Ep7), I've noticed an evolution in the way they make music. Tri Repetae++ stands as the perfect example of everything that autechre is capable of. It captures the finer moments from both the ambience fused earlier years, and the raw mechanical percussion from their later experiments.

I like Tri Repetae++, and there's something very powerful about it. Some of the tracks may sound a little repetitious at first, but multiple listens show the subtle progressions that Autechre manages to throw in with perfect acuity. It just plain sounds good. Especially with good stereo equipment. Another critic described the percussion as being primal, and I couldn't agree more. When this stuff is loud, your body will acknowledge.

Of course, this album does have It's share of hard listens, but that is to be expected from an outfit who's music is so unique. With Tri Repetae++, Autechre has given us some of both foods here. Some songs are easily accessible, while others might take while to get in to. This doesn't hurt the album at all, especially when you consider the fact that they've thrown in both the Anvil Vapre and Garbage EPs as the second disc. These EPs are very hard to find separately, and have a couple of really memorable tracks. My personal favorite would have to be "Second Bad Vilbel", which starts the second disc out nicely. Definitely one of Autechre's darker tracks, this one'll get alotta play in your stereo. This is a must own for fans of electronic music, and certainly the best introduction to Autechre's work.

3.'Tri Repetae' by Mike Barnes from Select magazine

Rochdale's Autechre are running fleet-foot into unnamed territory where techno, ambient and all other electronic sub-group categories seem superfluous. Their seductive, Kraftwerk-ish electro-pop influenced debut, 'Incunabula', seems a long way off now. Their approach was redefined by the recent 'Anvil Vapre' EP, leading to this, their toughest, most groove-orientated set yet.
Titles like 'Gnit', 'Rsdio' and 'Eutow' rival label-mate Aphex Twin in the nominal gobbledegook stakes but, crucially, Autechre never sound like they've just programmed in some clichĐąd rhythm track and let it run for aeons- or at least long enough for them to run off and skin up. Constantly mutating loops spin through tidal ebbs and flows of alien noise, massive synth arcs and tinkling piano. And there's always something happening in the mix- some detail that slowly comes into focus and disappears, some twist to the rhythm- are you listening, ambient bedroom noodlers?
The duo claim their intent is to make music that people will listen to more than once. So modest. The problem with Tri Repetae is how to stop playing it.

4.'Tri Repetae' by Ned Raggett

Starting with the snarling, slow machine-funk of "Dael", Tri Repetae fully confirms Autechre's evolution into electronic noise kings. If not as immediately experimental as the fractured work by the likes of Merzbow, Tri expertly harnesses the need for a beat to perfectly balance out the resolutely fierce, crunching samples and busy arrangements, turning from being inspired by Aphex Twin to being equally inspiring in itself. "Rotar" does a particularly fine job on this front, with high-pitched sounds against low, distorted bass blasts -- and this only forms part of the percussion arrangement. If anything, Gary Numan is also an unstated but prime influence in "Eutow" and "Clipper"; among other tracks, these contain key elements that sound exactly like the ominous, acoustic Moog siren tones which filled out many of his early songs (the descending chord hook in the latter, increasingly revamped as the song progresses, is especially compelling in context). The basic combination of soft melody and harsh beats are here as well, coming fully to the fore and resulting in such fine songs as the synth-string/organ wheeze laden "Leterel" and the quirky, sweet "Gnit". Nearly every track has a particular edge or element to it, making it eminently listenable and distinct. "Stud", for all of its macho connotations, actually takes a gentler path than most of the album's tunes, with a flowing synth wash at the center of a stripped-down but sharp digital-drum punch; by the end of the song, the synth loops float freely in an uneasy, ambient wave. With the drowsy pulse of "Overand" and the echoing beats of "Radio" (perhaps not so ironically, the most straightforward of the album's songs) to close things out, Tri stands as a varied, accomplished album, clear evidence of Autechre's unique genius around sound. American releases of this album include a bonus disc compiling the Anvil Vapre and Garbage EPs.

5.'Tri Repetae++' by Colin Helms from CMJ

Originally unleashed into the anticipatory paws of "intelligent dance music" fans in the U.K. during the fall of last year, Tri Repetae finds its current stateside release in the form of a two-CD set, the second disc of which includes material from two domestically unavailable EPs. The resultant 147 minutes of sharp pulses, free-standing tones and looped rhythm fragments are admittedly quite daunting in depth and length, but the intention of electronic music noodlers the likes of Sean Booth and Rob Brown has never been to produce a quickly digestible, three-minute dancefloor hit. Tri Repetae++ is both impossibly innovative in concept and wisely referential in form: From its cryptic song titles ("Dael," "C/pach," "Rotar") and dark, robotic manipulations of melody into crystalline digital textures, the album's attitude alone dissects and restructures standard musical forms. Yet underneath all this vivid, free-floating ambience lurks the record's secret weapon: a subtle adherence to techno's mainstay, the beat. Tri Repetae++ is the disco of the 21st century, frighteningly precise in its gorgeous, scalpel-sharp creations, but unpredictable every step of the way.