Confield

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Confield
Autechre Confield.jpeg
Studio album by Autechre
Released 30 April 2001
Genre IDM, experimental, glitch
Length 62:03
Label Warp
Producer Rob Brown and Sean Booth
Autechre chronology
Peel Session 2
(2001)
Confield
(2001)
Gantz Graf
(2002)

Confield is an album by the electronic music group Autechre, released by Warp Records in 2001 (see 2001 in music).

Production and musical style[edit]

With Confield, Sean Booth and Rob Brown largely abandoned the warm ambient sounds of their earlier works such as Amber and Tri Repetae in favour of the more chaotic feel that they had been pursuing with LP5, EP7, and Peel Session 2. Confield saw the experimental use of computer programs to form the basis of songs instead of stand-alone synthesizers. According to Booth, "Most of Confield came out of experiments with Max that weren't really applicable in a club environment." [1]

Like EP7 before it and their 2003 release Draft 7.30, Booth and Brown make use of generative sequences on Confield. However, in an interview following the release of Draft 7:30, Booth explained that although the beats they create using generative sequences may seem completely random to some, he and Brown exercised tight control over the limits and rules of what the beats could do.

"[On Confield] you have something that some people would call random, but I would say is quantifiable," Booth said.

"It seems that for a lot of people, if they hear something that doesn't sound regular, they assume it's random. If live musicians were playing it, they'd probably call it jazz or something. But the fact that it's coming out of a computer, as they perceive it, somehow seems to make it different. For me it's just messing around with a lot of analogue sequencers and drum machines. It's like saying, 'I want this to go from this beat to that beat over this amount of time, with this curve, which is shaped according to this equation.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 82/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media 8.8/10[4]
Mojo 4.5/5 stars[5]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[6]
NME 8/10[7]
Spin 7/10[8]
Almost Cool 7/10[9]
Release Magazine 7/10[10]

Pitchfork Media gave the album an 8.8/10, the highest they have ever rated an Autechre album, claiming that, "For those willing to take these times in stride, Confield promises elegant production, accessibility in moderation, and one of the most enveloping, thought-provoking listening experiences to come forth from leftfield this year." However, Allmusic, giving the album only a 3/5, argued that Confield was "a record to respect, not enjoy," a viewpoint expressed by other review outlets. The Washington Post‍ '​s Mark Jenkins said that the duo had progressed from "making music that sounds odd" to "craft[ing] its music to sound wrong", further commenting that the pair now sounded "ragged and fidgety" rather than "smooth and pulsing" as in the past. He said many of the songs sounded as though the CD player was skipping, and said the album was more madness than method.[11] Fiona Shepherd of The Scotsman held a similar view, saying the album sounded like "a malfunctioning dishwasher or a CD jumping. Forever."[12]

Despite the record's controversial nature, the album scores an average of 82/100 at Metacritic based on ten reviews, the highest average for any Autechre album on the site.[13]

Covers[edit]

In 2009, chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound recorded a version of "Cfern" on their album a/rhythmia.[14]

Track listing[edit]

Confield
No. Title Length
1. "VI Scose Poise"   6:57
2. "Cfern"   6:41
3. "Pen Expers"   7:08
4. "Sim Gishel"   7:14
5. "Parhelic Triangle"   6:03
6. "Bine"   4:41
7. "Eidetic Casein"   6:12
8. "Uviol"   8:35
9. "Lentic Catachresis"   8:29
Total length:
62:03
Japanese bonus track
No. Title Length
10. "MCR Quarter" (Recorded live at Band On The Wall, Manchester 1998) 11:02
Total length:
73:05

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tingen, Paul (April 2008). "In producing their complex, abstract electronica, Autechre have taken the idea of the studio as an instrument to new extremes...". SoundOnSound.com. Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "Confield - Autechre". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r527654
  4. ^ http://m.pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/365-confield/
  5. ^ The mind-boggling intricacies and moody, broody sound-sculpting on tracks like Pen Expers find Autechre zooming off, leaving their followers eating cosmic dust. [May 2001, p.110]
  6. ^ Confield not only documents the future of IDM; it also cements Autechre's name in the pantheon of sonic visionaries. [Jul 2001, p.63]
  7. ^ http://www.nme.com/reviews/autechre/4997
  8. ^ A series of six-minute tracks that set some sort of richly (or ripely?) spastic texture-beats against ethereal drone-shimmers. [Aug 2001, p.136]
  9. ^ http://www.almostcool.org/mr/27/
  10. ^ http://www.releasemagazine.net/Onrecord/orautechrec.htm
  11. ^ Jenkins, Mark (25 May 2001). "Autechre 'Confield' Warp For A...". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 July 2013.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  12. ^ Shepherd, Fiona (27 April 2001). "New releases". The Scotsman. Retrieved 11 July 2013.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  13. ^ "Autechre: Confield (2001) Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "Alarm Will Sound: a/rhythmia (2009) Track listing". Retrieved 30 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • Confield at the official Warp discography (features audio clips).