For a while there, Autechre looked like the intelligent answer to even the most dribbling and populist of superclub dance music. With a discordant ear for rhythmic patter, they warped the conventions of electronic music into something more sly and antagonistic. But then came Richard D. James to twist such anti-establishment methods into caustic horror narratives and, later, Kid 606 to rail against the growing stiffness of "intelligent" dance music's rebellious conformity. In the first half of this simply-named 12" EP (collected in the more handy EP7), Sean Booth and Rob Brown watch as the baton isn't passed to them as they skid out into a ditch of web-slinging percussion effects and predictable unpredictability. With almost six years of pervious material, one would expect these electronic auteurs to push things a bit more. Tracks like "Squeller" loop the way you'd expect -- dishing out blubbery undulations and artificial, electronic strings -- so even highlights like the surreal muttering of "Ccec" only hit five on the innovation scale when one craves for an 11. Unarguably, Autechre have been one of the more influential electronic groups in the '90s, yet here they're in danger of regurgitating conventions they once demanded to destroy.
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AllMusic Review by Dean Carlson