A shape that resembles music
For the few of you who saw the 1998 electronica documentary Modulations* and the fewer of you who remember Autechre’s brief, perplexing interview, you may be surprised to learn that they can be remarkably insightful. Or at least the Rob Brown half of the duo was in a recent interview with Pitchfork.
Pitchfork: Do you ever feel limited by technology? Where you have ideas or songs that you’re imagining or certain arrangements that, because of the tools you have, can’t be realized?
Rob Brown: … The gear can guide you — you can choose one bit of gear and it’s obviously got its restrictions and its limitations, but at the same time, you’ve got to exploit what it’s capable of and what it’s best used for. Sometimes you try not to be too overly analytical, trying to let it flow for a bit first and see where it’s leading you and then see what sticks to it, see what it implies. A lot of it is implications. Some of our earlier albums, like Confield, are almost all implied music. But it’s cohesive because we spent long enough fashioning the idea down — to a shape, if you like — that actually resembles music.
Implied music, wow. And he’s not talking John Gage-y silence-type conceptual music. That idea — of a music that peripherally or fragmentedly suggests the music that informed it — really does make Autechre’s “difficult period” (Confield, Draft 7.30, Untilted) click for me. Go back and have a listen. But first read the whole interview. Oh and also, pick up the new one Quaristice. It’s a new direction that, well, implies older directions. Really digging it.
* Easily one of my top three favorite movie posters of all time.