Autechre

EP7

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Less than a year after a vaunted full-length, Autechre returns with an hour-long EP that, given the artistic and sonic departures inside, could easily have made it LP6 instead of EP7. Sean Booth and Rob Brown's insistence on coaxing only the most spidery and alien bits of percussion from their PC audio software is in full effect, as on 1998's LP5, but the duo appears to have pulled back a bit from the yawning edge of abstract sonic manipulation. The paper-thin Selected Ambient Works-style melodies are back, with everything from steel drums (on "Maphive 6.1") to cheesy organ noodlings (on "Pir"). As such, it's an affecting (and effective) release -- not quite as futuristic or distinctive as LP5 but a bit more fun to listen to.

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