Autechre, "Gantz_Graf" CD/DVD

Saturday, 10 August 2002 19:00 Andrew Shires Reviews - Albums and Singles
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Warp
The title track of this EP continues in the brutalising, complicated style of 'Confield', which has caused such polarization in the Autechre fan base. Booth and Brown have earned the freedom at this point in their career to lay down sheer digital noise if they want to, and to see it consumed in numbers that must far exceed even flagship MEGO releases. And, like their work on 'Confield', "Gantz_graf" is an authoritative track that hammers and screams with pure digital flavours.
Those uncomfortable with the possibility that they're hearing "curated" generative work will be disappointed with the title track—but to ignore this release would mean missing out on two much more traditional, structured tracks which will certainly appeal to fans of their earlier releases. The high-speed "Dial." beats out constantly evasive drum patterns, with myriad pads bleeping their way through their own equally bewildering sequences. A segue into "Cap.IV", and we're treated to more chunky percussive wizardry and a trademark Ae chord progression which contests, towards the track's end, with unintelligibly fast sequence blurs. Fans will be happy.

Warp pulled out the stops by issuing a special version of the EP containing both the music CD, and a DVD, for approximately twice the price of the CD. (Thankfully they opted to package it in a double-depth jewel case rather than in oversized DVD packaging.)
Alexander Rutterford's video for "Gantz_graf" synchronizes the high-speed mutations of an abstract, jagged, and, well, futuristic CGI object with the music of the titular track. Very impressive. There's also a slide show from the video—a nice addition since the images flash by so quickly. Chris Cunningham's famous "Second Bad Vilbel" video was an early taste of the robotic imagery exploited in Bjork's "All Is Full Of Love", with an insectoid robot cavorting about in menacing fashion, seen through security camera visuals. It's had a nice facelift that has added more musical synchronization, and has got rid of the dodgy alien creature which spoiled the original. The "Basscadet" video, which I hadn't seen before, hasn't stood the test of time as well as Cunningham's, using as it does the same CGI technology as all those po-faced X-Mix collections full of bad ambient techno videos that everyone seemed to be buying in the early to mid nineties. It's not bad given all that, and certainly avoids the hippy rubbish seen in most videos of that era.
In sum, no-one would be well advised to rush out to buy a DVD player for this, but if you have access to one, it's worthwhile—especially if you haven't seen Cunningham's excellent video before.

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 February 2006 23:28