Riga’s Skaņu Mežs festival will have its 14th edition this year, occuring on October 13-15 as well as also on November 12, when the renown electronic music duo Autechre will perform at the music hall „Daile”. This performance is a part of Autechre’s tour in celebration of their four-hour long new album „elseq 1-5”.
Autechre are an English electronic music duo consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both from Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1987, they are one of the most prominent acts signed to Warp Records, a label known for its pioneering electronic music and through which all Autechre albums have been released.
While heavily associated with IDM (intelligent dance music), Booth and Brown are ambivalent about relating their sound to established genres. Their music has exhibited a gradual shift in aesthetic throughout their career, from their earlier work with clear roots in techno, house and electro, to later albums that are often considered experimental in nature, featuring complex patterns of rhythm and subdued melodies.
Autechre have also recorded under various pseudonyms. One of the duo’s earliest recordings was a 12″ under the alias Lego Feet, released in 1991 on Skam Records. The majority of releases by the mysterious “umbrella project” Gescom, most of them on Skam, have been attributed to Booth and Brown, among other artists. Their work has been widely celebrated; one recent critic stated that Autechre create “some of the most complicated music you could ever hope to drown in” and are “recognized as pioneers in experimental music”.
In the middle of May 2016, Autechre almost suddenly released their latest album „elseq 1 – 5”, a gigantic four-hour long work in five sections. Electronic music media Resident Advisor writes the following: „Warp announced that they don’t plan on releasing elseq 1-5 physically. Considering that Autechre is an iconic group whose fans snatch up everything with their name on it, that’s a big deal. elseq 1-5 exists only as a data dump. It’s the kind of position that Autechre have been heading towards since they blended composition and randomization, traded melody and meter for mathematics, and started making bigger and bigger projects. elseq 1-5 moves without rhyme or reason, and resists whatever narrative you might want to put on it. Four hours of dense, bewildering and occasionally fun electronic music, elseq 1-5 is a logical next step into the unknown for two pioneers.”
Meanwhile, FACT Magazine comments that „After all this time, that sense of danger is still the key to their success. Does the idea of a good four hours of harsh noise and morphing rhythms make you a little uncomfortable? In a world where genres are dissolving and artists chase streaming payouts by manufacturing watered down, universalist records, to know that Autechre are out there ignoring this supposed good sense is refreshing. [..] With „elseq 1-5”, Booth and Brown have served up a veritable edge buffet that will continue to surprise, disgust and engage listeners for the rest of the year.
Tickets to this particular concert evening can be purchased here, the price is 15 EUR: http://www.bilesuserviss.lv/
The Skaņu Mežs festival is supported by the “Creative Europe” programme of the European Union, Ministry of Culture of Latvia, State Culture Capital Foundation, the Municipality of Riga, the Goethe-institut Riga, Trust for Mutual Understanding and Kulturkontakt Nord as well as iRobot and Red Bull Music Academy.