Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, May 9

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Concert Thu Apr 03 2008

Yesterday's Tomorrow Revisited

There was a time, just a few years ago, when Autechre pretty much set and defined what electronic music was and could be. As pioneers of the dubiously-named subgenre known as IDM ("intelligent dance music"), the duo of Sean Booth and Rob Brown were inventively redrawing the outermost boundaries of digital music-making with each new album. But electronic music has changed a great deal in recent years; with much of its experimental wing moving into a more conventionally pop-minded, user-friendly direction. Nothing doing for Autechre. As their new recording Quaristice confirms, Autechre never gave a toss about competing with Daft Punk, and they're not about to start now.

While Quaristice sports its share of the daunting sonic abstraction and industrial-grade rhythms that have long been the Autechre signature style, it's also the most austere material the duo's released in nearly fifteen years. Rather than the dense, hermetically self-contained sonic universes that the duo's created over the past decade or so, the album unfolds as a series of open, amorphous musical sketches that feed and bleed into one another; frequently dissolving into dark, almost cinematic-like interludes. At times, Quaristice is like listening to the audio equivalent of ice-nine, as its sustained, crystalline timbres seem to cast a flash-freezing chill on everything within reach.

But Autechre's recorded work and performance repertoire are often two totally different beasts. Like most innovative electronic artists of their caliber, Booth and Brown view touring and the live-performance setting as an opportunity to branch out, improvise, and bring some works-in-progress out for a test drive. More often than not, the pair uses the occasion to cut loose. As former English b-boys who've long harbored a love for the gritty, distorted keyboards and body-rocking 808 kicks of old-school electro, they're just as likely to get busy twisting noise and sculpting soundscapes around an onslaught of punishing, four-on-the-floor beats.

Autechre will be playing at The Abbey next Friday evening. Supporting on the bill is Massonix, the latest project from Graham Massey. As a former member of acid-house pioneers 808 State, Massey played a key role in blazing the trail for post-rave electronica back in the late '80s and early '90s. Veteran British techno DJ Rob Hall opens for the evening. 3420 W. Grace (at Elston). Tickets are $20 in advance and at the door. Doors open at 8pm, and the show starts at 9. Ages 18 and older show.

[video]: Autechre - "Gantz Graf" (2002)
[video]: Autechre - "Dropp" (1999)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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