autechre albums, ranked

Written June 19, 2019, Revised Feburary 9, 2020

Autechre are, at present, my favorite electronic music group. Some people consider their work to be too strange and abraisive for their tastes, but I think it's just missunderstood. Though it's definitely not for everyone, but, well, I'll get into that soon.

I discovered these guys when, strangely enough, my middle school art teacher played the track "Gantz Graf" for the whole class. It made one of the girls' ears hurt, so naturally, I had to check them out. I listened to some of their tracks, but didn't think too much at the time-- I've only started listening to their work this religiously since last year. It's absolutely insane-- their music conveys emotions unheard of by man. That may sound a little pretentious, but the music really is that complex and interesting. It's a shame I'd probably get some weird looks if I played any of their later songs at a party, or something.

Since each album sounds so distinct from one another, I decided to make this chart describing my thoughts on each album, ranked from most to least favorite. As a heads-up, I haven't gotten to listening most of their 2010's albums (I'll get to them soon, I PROMISE) so don't ask me where they are. I also only included full-fledged albums, so you won't see EP's here (If you want reccomendation, listen to Cichlisuite). With that out of the way, here's the skinny on AE's 90's and 00's albums!

Rank Album Review
Draft 7.30
I have way too many things to say about this album. It's probably one of the best, if not THE best, albums I've heard. This CD juggles unusual percussion sounds and wacky melodies to create an experience that's just too hard for me to put into words. There are plenty of bangers to be found here, complemented with more experimental soundscapes that toe the line between analog and digital. Sometimes playful, sometimes threatening, always unbelievable.
Highlights: 6IE.CR, VL AL 5, P.:NTIL
I have an attatchment to this album, since it was the first AE release I listened to in full. The tracks here are shorter than usual, but the ideas are concise and the sounds are varied, which makes an enjoyable listen. Has an Aphex Twin-esque sense of humor. If you wish the tracks were longer, seek downloads of the companion releases Quaristice Versions and Quadrange.
Highlights: Simmm, Fol3, Theswere
This was the album that converted me into a full Autechre nut, but it's certainly their most off-putting effort. The nine tracks here may often sound completely erratic and deranged, which can discourage many listeners. Give it time and effort, though; it can be fun to peel back all the different layers and contemplate the patterns of the sounds. Listen with a good pair of headphones.
Highlights: Sim Gishel, Eidetic Casein
Tri Repetae
It may be cliché to call this the best of their 90's albums, considering it's the preffered AE album of the 'uninitiated', but it deserves its popularity. AE comes into their own with an ecletic mix of beats and synths. Good background music for web-surfing. Try listening out of speakers rather than headphones.
Highlight: Overand
This album is probably one the hardest ones to follow, considering the fast-paced beats can leave your head spinning. However, if you listen closely, you can hear some interesting background ambience that complements the cool and calculated beats quite nicely. Awesome use of samples, too!
Highlight: Ipacial Section
I haven't finished listening to this one yet, but it's an adequate first effort. Despite being their most standard album, the group does wonders with the limited soundfont, spanning the whole board from dance to ambient music. Makes great listening for relaxation.
Highlight: Eggshell
Chiastic Slide
Man, did this album get old fast. While the crunchy beats and machine sounds are fun, a lot of these tracks seem too content to just meander around without much progression. That said, the tracks Pule and Nuane do make a fun pair.
Highlight: Nuane
Don't get me wrong, this album certainly has a few great tracks, but IDK, this one just doesn't feel as interesting as the albums that follow it. The sounds are a bit too generic, and it kind of lacks that Autechre feel. Definitely skippable.
Highlight: Further
Highlight: Corc