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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other-Worldly Meter Reading
When my friends get bored with what they're listening to and want to hear something original (and by original I mean that they've played out most other types of EBM, electonica, 4/4s, and need something altogether different), I always buy them Autechre CD to try on for size. The reason that works so well is because Autechre can be likened "noise pioneers," building better...
Published on January 31, 2004 by TorridlyBoredShopper

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hmm...
i'm not sure i like this change of direction for autechre - after listening many times to amber, tri repetae, lp5, and ep7, in comparison this cd doesn't 'grab' me as the other releases have. i started 'collecting' the autechre releases purely because every one i sampled online drew me in, each perfect for a certain time or place or mood; yet 'confield' is none of these...
Published on July 8, 2001


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other-Worldly Meter Reading, January 31, 2004
By 
TorridlyBoredShopper "T(to the)B(to the)S" ("Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Little Tendril Baseball Team, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
When my friends get bored with what they're listening to and want to hear something original (and by original I mean that they've played out most other types of EBM, electonica, 4/4s, and need something altogether different), I always buy them Autechre CD to try on for size. The reason that works so well is because Autechre can be likened "noise pioneers," building better electronic sandcastles for the kid that has everything and still wants more, and they do through means that aren't easily manipulated. They take experimental portions of layering, hinging backgrounds of beat onto curtains of effect, and they birth articles of clothing no album I've owned before has ever worn. From the early mornings where they crafted ambient sounds to the experimental "now" that puts them totally ahead in the arms race, its really something "unique" (a word I try not to use much because of sounds like these) to form an addiction around.
Confield is an album that isn't going to be for everyone and you shouldn't feel bad if you can't get into it. I actually suffered that feeling when I first picked it up, noting some constriction in my mind and some angst in my wallet as I listened on, thinking that this couldn't be something I paid good money for. While we don't always realize it, its oftentimes hard to set aside preconceived notions of where noise ends and music begins, and I found myself not really liking this album at first because of this mainstreamed "sound backwash effect." The way the beat forms and the way the meter reads is odd and odd denotes fear, and that foreign element of sound sitting outside of my comfort zone threw me off at first.
In the beginning, I thought that there was only noise and the album experienced a time when the shelf was the only world it knew.
Later, however, I gave it another chance, it calling my name and begging me to listen because I love so many of Autechre's masterpieces, so I answered it and found myself actually "getting it" for the first time. In places where I heard nothing before, I could see the separation of the beats and the background, making out the melodies and the layers. And, god, was it ever good.
I'm not even going to begin trying to break the album apart as a whole, because a lot of interesting thoughts have been by other reviewers and they've done so with talent. Instead, I simply wanted to try and pick off a few songs and attempt to say that these pieces managed to catch my mind's eye and give a little on the "why" as well.
When I spun through it that second time, "Eidetic Casen" captured me in its almost eerily haunting sound right away. It has such a strange ambiance to it, both floating and constricting at the same time, and I found myself drawn to that. The images it evoked were interesting and then some, to be sure.
"Sim Gishel" also caught me slacking when I started looking back once more, with those sounds starting out like some type of early videogame and then leading into a bassline that is truly captivating. I loved the development of it, the way it rushed forward and stole the show, and it hooked me pretty quickly.
And then there's the totally bizarre "Lentic Catachresis." The best way to perhaps describe its sound is to capture something a friend of mine and I agreed on when first hearing it, citing it as "two machines angrily chatting over coffee." It has a alien sound to it, like machines actually speaking in a background of sound, only I'm not tuned into what they're saying. It's an interesting conversation at first, too, until it escalates and the caffeine from all that coffee kicks in. And then it's simply a lovely strain feeding from some chaotic spectrum.
If you're new to Autechre, perhaps this isn't the first place you should step in at and begin exploring. While I'd call this album remarkable, these are waters to slip into slowly, submerging yourself into the sights and sounds they evoke a little at a time before delving into the calms and the chaos. It is remarkable, though, perhaps taking some time to finally sink in but making a piece of architecture that will excite the epicenters of your waking mind when it finally tunes in.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this music?, April 10, 2003
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This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
There's a line from the Meshuggah song "Spasm" (which vividly describes a photosensitive epileptic seizure) that says, "A wordless thing, a thingless word." Somehow that line feels very appropriate in describing _Confield_, which sounds like the work of robots flipping out on LSD. Or...something. This is...VERY abstract stuff. A standard 4/4 measure is practically nonexistent; splintered beats pulse and burst seemingly at random. Razor fragments of static slice through unexpectedly. Sauntering melodies are minimalist and lazy, sounding lost amid the paroxysm of beats. The slightest hint of a steady rhythm can discorporate into a broken neo-cubist episode without warning -- and indeed, that seems to be an inevitable feature of this album's songs.
On the one hand, it sounds rather incoherent and aimless. From a superficial observation, _Confield_ is not necessarily unlike the avant-garde noise assaults of Merzbow -- although they sound different, both possess the same mechanical harshness and austerity. The key difference is that while I find Merzbow frightening and painful (but I sorta like it still), Autechre achieves something like a rapport with me through with these songs. There is a soft glow that hides in every track (except the last one, which would probably make me run for my life were it not such a paralyzing attack), an invitation to those who seek it. _Confield_ is too definitely unpredictable to be soothing and too jarring to be calm, and yet...there is a peculiar, alien beauty to it. It's affirmatively in the avant-garde realm of electronic music, and most will reject it. But to make it "easier" in any way would violate its purpose and value.
"Pen Expers" is really quite beautiful, a gorgeous melody trying to breaching the turbulence of the electronic blizzard -- "an egg hatching in a hurricane." "Parhelic Triangle" suspends time itself with a throbbing, stuttering bass quake. "Eidetic Casein" has a melody that is most easily discernible, but it is also deceptively inimical to the listener. Trying to latch onto the melody is beguiling, as it subtly shifts like an underwater blur. The details are fuzzy, washed out. "Lentic Catachresis" is heart-stopping, an orgy of mechanical blasts, seeming to be the dialogue -- no, an argument -- between two alien supercomputers. Pretty darn incredible. "Uviol" sounds like new age composed by H.R. Giger, an antipodal tug-of-war between high-ranged screeches and low-end pulsation.
This _is_ music. Beautiful, unusual, tense music. Not for everyone, but definitely for me.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Machines has overcome Booth/Brown........, May 17, 2001
By 
Peter Akerlund (Stockhom, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
This music isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea. Confield sounds totally different from the melodic Incunabula and the industrial-electro sounding Tri Repetae.
I would call this music dark ambient music layered with complex beat structures on top of melodies that can barely be heard. First time i heard the album i almost got scared. It sounded like my worst nightmare with the dark basslines and moody synthesizers all over the place. At first I was really disappointed with it, since i have always loved Autechre for their contrasts between dark and unfriendly soundscapes and lovely melodies inbetween.
Confield seemed to lack a sense of melody and the ever mutating beat structures almost sounded like pure noise. However, after a few listens i began to notice the underlying melodies on almost every track. I had to get used to the unfriendly beat structures on top to really appreciate this album. I usually listen to classical music like Bruckner and Shostakovich so this was quite a contrast. To really appreciate this album my advice would be to listen to it for a number of times before you make your opinion about it.
From the melodic Incunabula and Amber Autechre's music has become more and more machine-driven with every new effort. The major differences between LP5 and EP7 versus Confield is that the former two were more beat-driven. Confield on the other hand is more downbeat and minimalistic and more on the experimental side. Some hardcore Autechre fans might find the music hard to digest, but as always with Autechre you get rewarded after a few listens.
1. VI Scose Poise
Album starts out with a slow metallic and mutated sound that almost sounds as if someone is drilling in your ear. After a while a melody joins in. Very minimalistic.
2. Cfern
Nice melodic synths coupled with bass heavy beats. Notice the arrangments going on in the background.
3. Pen Expers
Cool drum programming reminiscent of Speedy J. A slow melody builds up in intensity. Great track.
4. Sim Gishel
Sounds like music to an old Nintendo at first, but heavy basslines steal the show.
5. Parhelic Triangle
Dark and minimalistic in the same vein as japanese DJ Krush. Echoing bells in the background that varies in intensity.
6. Bine
Sounds as if Booth/Brown has finally lost the control over their machines. Scary stuff that stimulates your brain.
7. Eidetic Casein
Finally they are in control again.... Exotic and dreamy melodies swirl around.
8. Uviol
High frequency sounds together with bass filled beats. You almost feel weightless for a couple of minutes (I'm not using drugs!)
9. Lentic Catachresis
Sounds as if aliens are talking to each other in a foreign language. Towards the end Booth/Brown again loses control of their machines and the album ends in a chaotic vein.
Will Booth/Brown ever get control of their machines again. To be continued....
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Zen of music, April 22, 2004
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
Having read most of the previous reviews of this album, the recurring verdict seems to be "abstract", "challenging", "not for the uninitiated". Granted, this is most definitely not your average mainstream pop chart fodder, quite the contrary - this is among the most rewarding music I have encountered, and Confield is my favourite Autechre release so far, including Draft 7.30.
A common misconception among the Autechre naysayers seems to be the idea of "getting" the music of Autechre, on the analogy of solving a complex equation or understanding a mathematical theorem (on a somewhat unrelated note, I detest the "Intelligent Dance Music" label - it is bigoted intellectual vanity at its very worst). I can understand the frustration when listening to the music in this manner, since you are searching for something that does not exist. There is nothing to grasp or understand, at least not on the conscious level. This is most definitely not music to rub your analytical, mathematical ego with. But just sit down and *listen* with an empty mind, and sooner or later your subconsciousness will put the pieces together for you behind the curtains. When it happens, it will all make sense.
Indeed, the music of Confield is the most Zen-like music I have ever heard. In my humble opinion, you cannot fully fathom the soundscapes within without letting go of your thoughts, focusing on the music here and now. And now. And now. It might require some discipline of the mind, but the results are rewarding to say the least. Go ahead, give it a try.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said that architecture is frozen music. If so, then Autechre is architecture set free. Confield is truly a marvellous piece of work. Listen with an open mind and you will be rewarded in abundance.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a musical puzzle, May 24, 2001
By 
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
I have owned and loved all of Autechre's albums (except Chiastic Slide - haven't heard) and one thing common about all of them is they took a few listens to realize what it was they were aiming for -but once you do 'get' it, the music seems to form in your mind's eye a very real, adventurous quality kind of like those 'magic eye' photos. It just seems like noise until you finally see it's a very lush, fully realized sonic world that they've put into a record. The type of simulated 'sonic world' they've made with 'Confield' is dark, dense, sinister, disorienting but interesting to explore at the same time.
But I'm not sure what to think of this album.
I liked their other stuff because it was physical, chunky and funky (in its own stange way) but 'Confield' is so far in the deep end of random noise that it could take many, many listens to warm up to it.
I'm not even going to attempt to describe what it sounds like. All the usual words used to describe autechre can be used here: alien, whirrs, clicks, blips, clanking, amorphous, melodic, inhuman, static, hiss, blah blah... The best I can do is it kind of sounds like 'ep7' seeping into a terrifying nightmare of H.R. Giger proportions, or you may think it sounds really techno and upbeat...I don't know. You just have to listen to it.
Ae have always intuitively and brilliantly tread the fine line between alien and soulful, satisfying the intellectual and emotional parts of the mind at the same time. It's like it triggers some kind of primitive 'AAH! SCARY NOISE!!' tripwire in your brain, only to seduce and bewitch your soul at the same time and make you feel comfortable. And I think they really have done it again with this album, even though you might think you've been conned into buying some kind of arbitrary logorithmic sound software test run bulls**t at first. But there really is substance to this music, it just doesn't reveal itself at first and will probably annoy the hell out of you and everyone that hears it when you first listen to it.
Just like 'Autechre' (aka 'lp5') did with me the first few times I listened to it. But don't get me wrong, this isn't nearly as accessible as 'lp5'. So if you're new to Autechre buy something else first. If you have heard other stuff by them and you feel game for something even more edgy, exciting and daring then buy Confield.
But this album does deserve to be heard even though it might totally baffle you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Evil Robot Music., February 18, 2004
By 
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
What gets me is how bands like Autechre tend to compel people to write big long technical descriptions about what the music is doing, which, in a sense, misses the point: one does not really need to know what a brick is made of to discover what it feels like to be hit by one on the noggin. So.
If you've kept up with Autechre since "Tri Repeatae", you know to expect: Evil robot music. This is the sound of two evil robots, called Sean and Rob, plotting to take over the world in order to convert it into a giant space antenna designed to transmit evil robot communications to the evil robot homeworld on Crux Epsilon V or something about some evil robot purpose that defies human imagination. I mean, that to me is a lot more spooky and nihilstic than what you might get from, well, the Sisters of Mercy.
There's a certain bounce to the first couple of tracks, so that you could almost dance to this. If you had seven legs and a peculiar hypersense for rhythm like your usual evil robot. Personally, listening to this puts me to sleep, but then that might be the ambient aspect coming through, though it's well hidden along all the cybernetic coruscations.
All-in-all, I like it, even though most of it's so abstracted from conventional musical forms that it doesn't lodge in the mind too well - so it could be a fresh experience with each listen! That's a large part of Autechre's almost ineffible charm, I think.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a clean break, much like Chiastic Slide, August 16, 2001
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
I've been listening to Confield since I got home from work and gingerly pulled it out of the mailbox with trembling hands. What can I say? It's good. Not good as in, "Yeah, Zooropa was cool if you listen to it as a Brian Eno record" good, but good as in cancelling social plans so as to stay home and listen to it. I've heard some people say that it's more "accesible," comparing it to the first two records, but I don't see the resemblance. This is years ahead of Incunabula or Amber. The general sonic palette is definitely softer than Lp5, but the rythms are much quicker and more hectic, even if the actual tempo of most of the tracks is very slow. That spinning-bottle noise they used on "Krib" from Chiclisuite seems to be a regular part of their vocabulary now.
"Vi Scose Poise" opens with what sounds like Sonata #1 for Glass Bottle and Spinning Cap, which gradually coalesces into a rythm of paradiddles that skip all over the place between speakers. I have to wonder how many tracks it took just to record the backing track. The melody enters, sounding like something off Incunabula, even though I'm reminded more of "Pir" from Ep7.
"Cfern" chugs along in 6/8 and even swings a bit, throwing in some wooden mallet instruments and Hammond organ.
"Pen Expers" took me off guard, opening with what sounds like a malfunctioning Roland Dr. Drum (gold star if you can remember those!), but once the chords start sparking in from the edges of the speakers, they blend in perfectly with the cheesy snare, and you realize that this is the only way it could have worked. Then you realize just how much this track POUNDS. Once it settles in, it reminds me alot of "Rae," except faster. The most dramatic piece on here and so far, my favorite.
"Sim Gishel" has the most straightforward rythm of any track on here. It sounds alot like "Tilapia," except with a drone in the background that sounds like a chorale of generators. There's harmony in there, alot like there was in "Zeiss Whatsamoever," you just have to strain to catch it.
"Parhelic Triangle" is not the Steve Reich remix floating around on Napster, but whoever uploaded that had an uncanny sense of humor. The real track also relies heavily on tolling bells, but it's in 7/4 (I think) and sounds more like wind chimes blowing around in some abandoned factory.
"Bine" reminds me very much of "Vletrmx21" in mood. It's got the somber chords that sound like an amplified string section playing Barber's Adagio, except here, they cut in and out like a faulty radio. There's a ridiculously fast and chaotic beat underpinning the whole track, but it actually generates more of a feeling of stasis. Spinning fast sitting still. Nice job, guys.
"Eidetic Casen" picks up where "Arch Carrier" left off in mood, with a steady backbeat and lots of descending chromatics. Another really dramatic track. "Uviol" is absolutely beautiful. A bunch of tones just hang in the air like icicles while a loping beat that seems to ebb and flow pulls things along nicely. In terms of general feel, it seems to link back to "Vi Scose Poise."
"Lentic Catachresis" plays a two-chord progression while chopped-up vocals struggle for coherency over a beat that alternately speeds up and slows down. I get the impression of a machine desperately struggling to get words out. The beats start to degenerate into chaos as the chords ricochet along, and then it just stops and you're left with the sound of the cd player winding down and silence, in my case stunned silence. After a few minutes, you remember to start breathing again. This record never seems to warm up, but I think that's the idea. It's not something that I (can) listen to every day, but it *is* something I need to hear every now and then.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich Engaging Music - Rewarding in many ways., August 4, 2005
By 
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
To describe Autechre and more specifically "Confield" to listeners who haven't experienced this type of music is truly a difficult task. Suffice it to say that while the band is clearly electronica Autechre's "Confield" pushes the limits of the genre and even questions the very rules of music. It may sound haphazard and disjointed at first but in actuality it is precise and deliberate music. By going into several different meters and time signatures in each piece and playing very sophisticated "tricks" upon the listener the music, while I find it quite beautiful and relaxing, does require active listening. Upon first play each piece with their obscure names like "parhelic triangle" may simply appear to be interesting sometimes engaging (and sometimes not) works. Further listen often reveals that there is much more at play. For example on track 3 "pen expers" one will notice that the organ and the "beat" are played using the same algorithm but at very different speeds. You may not notice this at first and continued listing only provided the listener deeper more insight into the music. This makes listening a very rewarding endeavor though it might not be for everyone. Just pondering how the brain takes in music and retains it at different levels leaving room for deeper retention is just one of the fruitful rewards of listening - buy this CD and find out.

I think if you have heard any Autechre especially the later stuff you will enjoy this music. I recommend this to fans of experimental music of all types and anyone who wishes to broaden their musical scope. This is an easy CD to get hooked on if you just listen a few times. Once you have it you will want more so go buy Untilted next. - enjoy

Ted Murena
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, yet hard to access music, November 18, 2003
By 
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
After reading most of people's comments about this album as well as some reviews explaining the weirdness occuring in this album, I knew I had to check it out. I was a bit familiar with Autechre, having bought Tri Repetae++ some time ago, and it didn't leave me much of a impression at first. However, Confield completely changed my opinion about Autechre. It is really one of the most out-there albums I ever heard and I just keep wondering how they've managed to come up with such music. It's chaotic, dense yet incredibly beautiful noise at the same time. Melodies are sparse, as the album mostly focuses on abstract sound textures and complex drum programming, but the results are amazing nonetheless.
VI Scose Poise features a dislocated metallic sound playing around, settling the song's beat alongside some other glitch noises and 2 minutes later, a quiet melody arises from the mix. Pen Expers is one menacing hip-hop venture which is dominated by harsh, pounding drum beats in which a melody slowly forces it's way through, after which it ends through another whacked-out drum workout.
Parhelic Triangle, which has to be my favorite song of the whole album, features a throbbing bassline which shadows eerie synth melodies and cascading bells which echoes through the bassline. It acheives with the bassline twisting itself way beyond the pattern it had established with the song's debut. Truly beautiful song. Uviol, which has to be the album's most quiet song, uses it's percussion and synth pads to create an icy alien world.
The only reason the album loses a star would be for the last track, Lentic Catachresis. The song starts out in a pretty good way, with a sparse yet present melody in which dislocated, frentic drums play. However, near the 3:30 mark, the song truly loses it's focus and acheives itself into a unpenetrable glitch wall that lasts for 5 whole minutes with little variation. This is the only song that I don't understand at all on the album.
I guess I must be weird, considering that it's that album that made me an Autechre fan. After I listened to it, I've started liking Tri Repetae++ a lot more as I suddently was able to notice the subtle progressions within the tunes on it. An album that definitely deserves a listen, especially if you're a fan of abstract art and accept to have your views about what art is about being challenged. Great CD!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, February 12, 2003
By 
Craig (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Confield (Audio CD)
Where can I start? This album is quite simply the best thing Autechre have ever done. Many people say that Tri repitae is autechre's best work. I disagree. It is good for introducing people to the duo, but to me is sounds like a bit of a sampler, and not quite sure where it's headed. Not so confield. This album isn't heading anywhere. It's already there. It just exists. Autechre have come up with an album that to my knowledge exists in an absract realm that no other producer has even tried to explore. It is both chaotic and beautiful. Random yet ordered. Subtle yet obvious. Dark, brooding and thoughtful. To try to make too much sense of the beats, however, is a pointless exercise. This is music you just sit and listen to, letting it wash over you, taking you in the direction it wants to take you. Every song on here is beautiful, and transports you to a different place, a place that only exists in the deepest recesses of your mind. I'm not to sure if this was the desired effect by sean and rob, but it seems to be the effect on most people who hear the album and actually *listen* to it. The highlight for me would have to be uviol. This track is just beyond words. The rolling bassline, tripped out synth noises, crazy time signatures - they all go together to produce perhaps the best track i've ever heard from Ae.
In short, I personally believe that this is Ae's best album to date. It is an incredibly tight production. Whether you like it or not comes down to the question of why you listen to autechre. If it is because of the synth melodies and more conservatively structured beats of their earlier work, you may not be able to appreciate this album. However, if you love all of autechres work to date, and listen to them because they take you on an aural journey like no other group can, then I thoroughly believe that you too will be impressed by this fantastic album. A Classic.
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Confield
Confield by Autechre (Audio CD - 2001)
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