All Tomorrow's Parties 3.0 :: V/A (Autechre Curated)

The fourth instalment of the ultimate mix tape that is the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival brings the obligatory companion double CD release. This years festival was curated by none other than the UK’s abstract noodlers of all things electronic, Autechre. With such a large base of artists chosen for the festival, this double CD release still fails to do justice to the variety of styles that are included, and the tracks chosen here are a strangely unsatisfying collection.

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Disc one has a definite hip-hop flavour with Public Enemy, Masters of Illusion and Dr Dooom (Kool Keith) catering for the old-school, and Push Button Objects and Gescom (Autechre’s collective and side project) covering the more abstract side of the genre. Jim O’Rourke’s random yet effective meanderings, and Stasis’ early-nineties lush Detroit workout, both run against the grain of the disc, but are worthy inclusions.

Disc two kicks off with vintage Carl Craig, and then continues to tread down nineties techno memory lane with Anthony Shakir and Mark Broom chipping in. Sure the tracks sound dated and a little clumsy, but at the time they really affected the course of electronic music in a way that today’s softsynth masses would not readily acknowledge. Mark Clifford’s Disjecta guise takes an unexpected turn with a track that feels nearer to old Seefeel material than his previous abrasive offerings on Warp. Earth contribute their first track in seven years in the form of a ten minute guitar improvisation, and Bola displays his usual grace and skill in twisting soaring melody with sharp, repetitive percussion.

Granted that the festival and companion CD are a statement of Autechre’s tastes and musical inspiration, but I think the appropriate question to ask here is “will this make a coherent and enjoyable compilation past the unavoidable self indulgence of its curators?”. So it makes for a captivating yet haphazard listen, much like any Autechre record. Although an insightful glimpse into Autechre’s record bag, I say wait until June for the Matt Groening curated ATP compilation.

  • Tracklisting & Info
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