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Despite the dozens of experimental electronics producers constantly nipping at their heels, Autechre remained at the forefront of academic sound processing with a highly awaited sixth full album. Whether pushing the next new thing in 2001 is enough to keep listeners coming back to this LP years later is a much different question, and the assault of non-rhythmic beats sprayed all over Confield is enough to keep most from even trying. Opener "VI Scose Poise" is a bouncing-ball-in-a-ring-modulator production that reveals only a few of Autechre's excellent minor-key melodies, while the second off, "Cfern," keeps listeners guessing as well with a parade of conflicting rhythms and head-spinning beats. In fact, it's a palpable relief when "Cfern" leads directly into more straightforward electro territory with "Pen Expers." There are faint glimpses of the melancholy beauty of Autechre's early work, but this experimental, rigidly academic work is a record to respect, not enjoy.

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