Booth and Rob Brown met in the mid eighties in their native
Manchester. United by a common interest for hip-hop and
graffiti, they started playing music together, expanding
their scope by fiddling with computers, creating their
own softwares and machines.
After a first 12'', Cavity Job, released on Hardcore
Records, they were signed-up by Sheffield-based legendary
electronic label Warp Records, home of LFO, Nightmares
On Wax and Black Dog.
Autechre's first release for the label, Incunabula,
came out as part of the seminal Artificial Intelligence
series, and gave electronica a complete new dimension.
LFO's Frequencies was very much taking off where
Kraftwerk had stopped some years before. Autechre, in
the other hand, were already starting to push boundaries
further than anybody else. After another couple of albums,
they released what would be the work of geniuses for some,
and complete rubish for others: Chiastic Slide.
Booth and Brown had by then absolute control over their
machines, torturing them to the extreme in the process.
Chiastic Slide, apparently taking its name from
an eye condition, is a masterpiece of abstract music,
rooted as much in the Kraftwerk playground as it is in
Pierre Henry or Pierre Schaeffer and the "musique concrète"
movement. The album opens with the organic Cipater,
which sees its original beat pattern slowly overpowered
by a second one, to the point where the old adapts itself
to the new. The rest of Chiastic Slide is equally
as disturbing, challenging, and beautiful. The music,
also seemingly static, evolves, changes, morphs almost
imperceptibly. The strange rhythmic structures, fragile
backbone for minimalist melodies, are metallic and abrasive,
with no apparent defined constitution.
Despite its relative complexity, the music of Autechre
is simple and basic, attractive and exhilarating, and
Chiastic Slide is their most accomplished album