Incunabula (album)

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Autechre - Incunabula Cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released29 November 1993 (1993-11-29)
GenreAmbient techno, IDM[1]
ProducerSean Booth and Rob Brown
Autechre chronology
Cavity Job
Basscadet Mixes
Artificial Intelligence series chronology
Artificial Intelligence II
Singles from Incunabula
  1. "Basscadet"
    Released: 25 April 1994

Incunabula is the debut studio album by English electronic music duo Autechre, released on 29 November 1993 by Warp.


Autechre member Rob Brown stated that Incunabula was "more of a compilation of old material" and that he believed follow-up album Amber was the "first album we put out on Warp."[2]


Music critics David Stubbs and Ned Raggett noted that Incunabula would differ from Autechre's later releases. Raggett found that the album "doesn't totally display the full experimentation which would dominate their future albums and singles" while Stubbs that following both Incunabula and Amber that Autechre "took an increasingly remote turn, moving away from both the blissful pastures of the chillout zone and the wildfire, staplegun rhythms characteristic of the 'Intelligent Dance Music' brigade."[3][4]

Raggett continued that the first track "Kalpol Introl" "sets the overall mood for the rest of the record" with the track's combination of minimal beats and bass with various keyboard textures and understated melodies. He concluded that Incunabula "follows the same general tone; tracks often experiment with ghostly keyboard backing and mostly clinical beats combined with odd, individual touches."[5]


Incunabula was released by Warp on 29 November 1993.[6] It was released again by Wax Trax! on 25 January 1994 in the United States.[5][7] Incunabula was re-released on vinyl by Warp on 11 November 2016.[8]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[5]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[11]

In a contemporaneous review, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch stated that most techno would be repellent to audiences with its "insistent beat and repetitive tape loops" but that this was not the case with the genre's "ambient strain", lumping Autechre with groups like The Orb and Ultramarine and artists such as Aphex Twin.[13] The review found little relevance in citing individual tracks as highlights as they ebbed and flowed into each other, but stated that "the music is never boring and does inspire fits of introspection."[13]

From retrospective reviews, David Stubbs of The Wire discussed both Incunabula and Amber stating the two were "terrific adventures in homebrewed Techno but not radically dissimilar in method from the work of their Warp contemporaries."[4] Raggett (AllMusic) stated that "despite the relative sameness in the basic arrangements of tracks covering the better portion of the album -- a few song subtractions wouldn't have hurt the 75-minute length any -- Incunabula still stands out as a better effort than many other U.K. techno albums of the early '90s."[5] The New Rolling Stone Album Guide gave the both Incunabula and Amber two and half stars out of five, describing them as "smart if unexciting ambient watercolors" that "give no indication of the innovations to follow".[11] Pitchfork gave a positive review of the album, while echoing Raggett's comment on an excessive 75 minute running time with tracks like "Windwind" "exhausting it's 11-minute runtime" while praising tracks such as "Bike" and "Basscadet", described as a "fan favourite."[10] Fact would place the album at 11th place on their list of best albums of the 1990s, stating that it was a "symphony of whirrs, cranks and rattling spokes; its formal ingenuity and sheer, brute intensity have sealed its status as a set text for the ages."[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Sean Booth and Rob Brown[15].

1."Kalpol Introl"3:18
4."Bronchus 2"3:33
Total length:78:04


Credits adapted from Incunabula's record sleeve.[15]

  • Sean Booth – writer, producer
  • Rob Brown – writer, producer
  • Adrian Harrow – assistance
  • Richard Brown – assistance
  • Darrell Fitton – assistance
  • Geoff Pesche – mastering
  • The Designers Republic – design
  • Daniel 72 – original images

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cooper, Sean. "autechre – biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Autechre Q&A". BBC. Archived from the original on 20 February 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  3. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Incunabula (CD – Wax Trax! #7210) – Autechre". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b Stubbs, David (April 2003). "The Futurologists: Autechre". The Wire. Retrieved 23 November 2016. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ a b c d Raggett, Ned. "Incunabula – Autechre". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Autechre – Incunabula". Warp. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  7. ^ Cooper, Sean. "Autechre". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  8. ^ Bowe, Miles (22 September 2016). "Autechre reissue classic early albums, embark on massive European tour". Fact. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  10. ^ a b Beta, Andy (21 November 2016). "Autechre: Incunabula / Amber / Tri Repetae". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  11. ^ a b Sisario, Ben (2004). "Autechre". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 29. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  12. ^ Howe, Rupert (January 1994). "Autechre: Incunabala". Select (43). Archived from the original on 19 May 2000. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  13. ^ a b Durchholz, Daniel (10 February 1994). "Recordings". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 04G.
  14. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s". Fact. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  15. ^ a b Incunabula [back cover] (Media notes). Autechre. Warp. Warp lp17r.

External links[edit]