Home > Music > Autechre – Tri Repetae (1995)

Autechre – Tri Repetae (1995)

folderDoes this album reflect Autechre exploring programmed sounds and perhaps the occasional glitch? Probably. Writing about electronic music is a rather different experience than writing about metal, since the intents of the musicians often differ dramatically. Tri Repetae belongs to the ’90s British IDM/ambient techno boom, but it stands apart from even much of what I’ve listened to from it (mind you, I’ve only scratched the surface) by how much it embraces an artificial, cold, structured aesthetic. Very analog at times, or at least I think it is, and if you’ve been reading the words of a certain Australian fellow who doesn’t actually exist, you might end up believing that a person’s beliefs and biases are useful information.

Anyways, Tri Repetae relies quite heavily on repetition; repeat is even in its name if you can’t spell! Songs here have this tendency of starting with one simple loop, then gradually adding more up until some point, dwelling on them for a few minutes, and then gradually fading out in the opposite fashion. Between tracks, there are significant variances in pacing, sound density, and sonic texture, but I’d still say Autechre sticks to their guns throughout this album. There are not particularly many unique musical phrases explored per track, but I’m fairly sure that’s intentional.

Even with the repetitive, trancelike nature of their chosen songwriting method, Autechre has plenty of room to explore aesthetic permutations (How often have you read that before on this blog? For better or worse I have reduced the task of music reviews to a formula). Some tracks emphasize hookish melody, such as “Clipper” and “Eutow”, which allow relatively dense-sounding content to rise from their loop-stacking. Often, however, Tri Repetae tends towards sparser sounds, sometimes by virtue of favoring some frequencies, sometimes by focusing more on percussion, and occasionally just droning to the point of tedium. I’d like to say this album suffers from Kraftwerk syndrome, but unlike to the album I review in the link, I feel these songs are actually better when they’re more accessible. This could be due to Autechre not really dipping into blatant pop music tropes, but regardless, it’s a strong departure from my usual “experimentation = good” claims.

Repeated listens have lead me to believe that this album has reached some level of merge between its aesthetics and its songwriting techniques, which does bode well for it being a unified, coherent album. As mentioned before, it also succeeds in elaborating on its basic ideas without relying on aesthetic changes to remain memorable. Ironically, my favorite songs on here are the ones whose aesthetics appeal most to my listening sensibilities. On the other hand, I find much of this album too sparse for frequent listening, which is saying something given my occasional affinity for minimalist recordings. You could say I’m looking for a denser soundscape.

Highlights: “Dael”, “Clipper”, “Eutow”, “C/Pach”

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