AUTECHRE & THE HAFLER TRIO: ah3e0 & a3oe (ae3o3) (Die Stadt/Simply Superior)


Posted on Oct 4th 2011 01:41 am

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Autechre & The Hafler Trio: ah3e0 & a3oe (ae3o3)

ah3e0 & a3oe (ae3o3)
Die Stadt/Simply Superior 2011
02 Tracks. 240mins00secs

Amazon UK: DVD Boomkat: DVD

The collaboration between Autechre’s Sean Booth and Rob Brown and The Hafler Trio’s Andrew McKenzie started back in 2003 with an enigmatic first release, æ3o & h3æ, published on Phonometrography, which was followed two years later by a much more extensive ambient experiment, æo3 & 3hæ (Die Stadt). Since, nothing else had filtered out from the trio’s laboratory until this third release, limited to 1000 copies worldwide was announced at the end of August.

Released as a double DVD (5.1 Audio Version), ah3eo & a3oe (æ3o3) features three tracks, the first one clocking at an impressive two hours, the second and third stretching over forty-seven and fifty eight minutes respectively, all available both in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 formats. Like its predecessors, ah3eo & a3oe (æ3o3) explores a series of extremely arid and corroded soundscapes. The succession of bleak textures which forms the core of each track differs greatly. The vast wind formations which appear to make up most of ah3eo, although of varying density, leave very little space for any other structure to develop. It often feels like one is caught in a series of sand storms, and it is very easy to become totally disoriented by the total lack of reference points. Although some of these appear extremely static, they are for the most part subjected to some form of progression, albeit at time almost totally imperceptible. These soundscapes are often placed against each other, with no blending points in between, which can add to the oppressive appearance of the overall piece.

The track which opens the second DVD is even more austere, its constantly morphing soundscapes, although sober to the extreme, sounding like they could have been sourced from a particularly tense and sombre episode of a sci-fi series from the sixties. The tones used often have a metallic quality to them, and are at time layered with distant radio signals. The rampant dumb tension which characterises the first fifteen minutes of a3oe is ramped up somewhat drastically as a strident noise become extremely prominent, but later on, the stark drone-like minimalism which until then prevailed is partly obliterated by the introduction of a patterned loop, reminiscent of an over-amplified clockwork mechanism, over the last twenty minutes.

The last piece appears to return to some of the vast soundscapes of ah3eo, but here, fragments of musical components can be heard in the background. The extreme granularity of the expanding sound form which progressively sweeps across the whole piece reveals just how complex, intense and refined the process adopted by the trio is. Perhaps the denser of the three pieces, it is also the most open and airy Autechre and McKenzie have created yet.

ah3eo & a3oe (æ3o3) finds its place somewhere between extreme ambient experimentation and musique concrète, yet it doesn’t follow any of these genres’ respective codes. Like the two previous instalments in this ongoing collaboration, it is impossible to truly place this release in context even to the work of its authors. The detailing is extreme here as Auteche and The Hafler Trio work from microscopic particles, painstakingly building up layer after layer to create incredibly complex, yet minimal, sound structures. They have here come up with yet another challenging piece of work which stands entirely outside of anything else around.


Autechre | The Hafler Trio/Simply Superior | Die Stadt
Amazon UK: DVD Boomkat: DVD

Filed in Albums,DVD | Tags: , ,
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One Response to “AUTECHRE & THE HAFLER TRIO: ah3e0 & a3oe (ae3o3) (Die Stadt/Simply Superior)”

  1. THE 2011 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 22 Dec 2011 at 1:02 pm

    […] & THE HAFLER TRIO ah3e0 & a3oe (ae3o3) Die Stadt/Simply […]