Oversteps (album)

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Autechre - Oversteps.jpg
Studio album by
Released22 February 2010 (download)
23 March 2010 (CD/LP)[1]
GenreAmbient, IDM, electronic
Autechre chronology
Move of Ten

Oversteps is the tenth album by electronic music duo Autechre, released on Warp Records in 2010. The album was made available for official download on bleep.com and the Japanese iTunes Store on 22 February 2010; the CD and deluxe vinyl editions were released on 23 March 2010. Critics were generally quite positive about Oversteps, with many considering it more focused and accessible than previous albums. A few months after its release, Oversteps was followed by a companion EP entitled Move of Ten.

Background and production[edit]

In a March 2010 interview with Clash, Autechre members Sean Booth and Rob Brown said they did not know if any other music influenced the development of Oversteps; Booth commented that "I don’t own a single record that sounds like 'Oversteps'".[2] The dynamic between the duo in the studio was called "hilariously accommodating" in the same interview, with Booth stating "I don’t mind backing down".[2]

Autechre streamed a twelve-hour webcast in early March 2010, coinciding with the album's release,[3] as they had with the releases of Untilted and Quaristice.

The album artwork was created by The Designers Republic.[4] In an interview with Warp Records, Ian Anderson of tDR explained that the album's artwork was based on a life-long influence of Anderson's, that of man versus machine. The cover is based on the idea that "[people are] trying to be as effective as machines and do the tasks that we’ve developed machines to do", and that a relatively simple task for a computer but an arduous one for a human is to draw a perfect circle. In all, seventy-two different circles were generated with paintbrushes and felt tip pens, making the covers of each format (CD, vinyl record, and in the case of digital, individual song artwork), print ad and merchandise a unique attempt at a perfectly drawn circle by a human.[5] The concept would be applied to concentric rings forming circles for Autechre's follow-up EP, Move of Ten.


Oversteps was released on 23 March 2010.[1] Before its release, numerous fake versions of the album showed up on Internet websites, just as had happened with the previous three sets.[2] Brown said it was "becoming a bit of a tradition" at the time of the album's release.[2] Oversteps peaked at No. 15 and No. 46 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums and Heatseekers Albums charts, respectively, the week of 10 April 2010.[6]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [8]
BBC Musicpositive[9]
Drowned in Sound(9/10)[10]
musicOMH3.5/5 stars[11]
The Observerpositive[13]
Pitchfork Media(7.2/10)[3]
Pop Matters9/10 stars[14]
Resident Advisor(3.5/5)[15]
The Skinny5/5 stars[16]
The Times4/5 stars[17]
Tiny Mix Tapes4/5 stars[17]
Virgin Music(7/10)[18]

Oversteps received generally positive reviews, with most agreeing it is one of the band's most accessible albums to date. Matt Kennedy of BBC was highly complimentary, and noted that while "Oversteps is certainly no exception to their outwardly difficult aesthetic.... Beneath the icy exterior, deceptively warm hearts beat".[9] He added that, as per usual, the album was not immediately accessible, but that repeatedly listening to it is "the only method of absorbing Oversteps’ depths", concluding, "Autechre continue to test themselves and listeners alike with stunningly intricate results."[9]

Paul Clarke of Drowned in Sound agreed, saying Oversteps "initially still seems as imposing as an abandoned warehouse surrounded by nine feet of razor wire", but "does have entry points for the casual listener".[10] He compared it to mid-1990s sets by fellow IDM group Future Sound of London, saying the album's songs "all seem to blossom out of each other to immerse the listener in a synaesthetic environment."[10] He concluded his review on a similar note as Kennedy, saying, "Oversteps is still a challenging listen, and one which reveals endless layers of new detail with each spin. But it’s also their most instantly rewarding—and arguably best—album to date."[10]

Patrick Sisson of Pitchfork Media said the album recalled earlier works such as Amber, saying, "the ambience and atmospheres of Oversteps are haunting."[3] He also called the album "less rigid" and "almost organic", concluding that Autechre were "still incorporating new designs, not merely repackaging the previous products."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Sean Booth and Rob Brown.

1."r ess"5:13
6."see on see"4:37
8."os veix3"4:38
10."d-sho qub"6:26
11."st epreo"4:08
Total length:71:24


  1. ^ a b "Autechre: Oversteps". Warp Records. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Bennett, Matthew (11 March 2010). "Autechre Interview". Clash. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Sisson, Patrick (22 March 2010). "Autechre Oversteps". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Autechre will leave you hypnotised". Metro. 21 March 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Reasonable Person: An interview with Ian Anderson". Warp Records. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Oversteps - Autechre". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Oversteps - Autechre". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  8. ^ Bush, John. "Oversteps Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Kennedy, Matt (17 March 2010). "Autechre Oversteps Review". BBC. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d Clarke, Paul (15 March 2010). "Autechre Oversteps". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  11. ^ Judy Clarke (22 March 2010). "Autechre - Oversteps". musicOMH. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  12. ^ Hoban, Alex (19 March 2010). "Album Review: Autechre - 'Oversteps' (Warp)". NME. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  13. ^ Grundy, Gareth (21 March 2010). "Autechre: Oversteps". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  14. ^ Mike Schiller (31 March 2010). "Autechre: Oversteps". Pop Matters. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  15. ^ Ian Mathers (10 March 2010). "Autechre - Oversteps". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  16. ^ Shukla, Mark (3 March 2010). "Autechre - Oversteps". The Skinny. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  17. ^ a b Clay, Joe (20 March 2010). "Autechre: Oversteps". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011.
  18. ^ Matthew Laidlow. "Autechre - 'Oversteps' - album review". Virgin Music. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  19. ^ Brandon Bussolini (26 March 2010). "Autechre Oversteps". XLR8R. Retrieved 17 December 2015.

External links[edit]