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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

syntheticvoid ,

Autechre - Draft 7.30

Right off the bat, I consider Draft 7.30 to be one of Autechre's best albums. However, it's one of my least favorite of the post-98/LP5 studio albums, placing right above Oversteps and Quaristice. Confield, Untilted, Exai and elseq take the first 4 spots (yes, after 2 straight months of listening to nothing but elseq, it's secured it's spot right under Exai - in a few more years it'll probably move up as it's destined to be tied to numerous memories in the near future...), and while this list is constantly shifting, evolving and changing, they all typically fall back into their usual places, Confield will always wind up re-trumping everything else and reclaim it's #1 spot the moment I start it up the first time after a break from it while Untilted, being the first album I got to experience the hype leading up to release for in regards to Autechre, will always hold that special spot and contains just as many, if not more, memories tied with it as Confield, but will always come just short of that first meaningful 'diving in, unfolding and eventually coming to understand' experience with an Autechre album. Exai is the first Ae album I connected with instantly the first time I heard it, but it has still grown on me much more than I thought it would upon that initial listen. It's dark, grainy atmosphere is pretty much exactly what I look for when I go searching for new artists, but the lack of an onslaught of complex beat work has left it sitting at #3 for years now and that is basically the same reason why elseq hasn't gone up further, even though the synths/fx are absolutely sublime. Now; Draft: while being more complex, percussion wise, than Exai or elseq, it feels like an out-lier in the 2001-2005 Ae era. Confield is so dense and experimental while Untilted is incredibly complex and meticulously programmed, Draft really lets up in the complexity of the beats. It's almost as if they felt the world wasn't quite ready for the complexity Confield brought to the forefront, so they made everything easier to digest. Don't get me wrong here, there is tons of complexity here, just not when compared to the albums that bookended it.

Like Confield and Untilted, the atmosphere is dark and gritty but unlike those two, Draft feels incredibly wide and spacious. Actually, it reminds me of the openness of Tri Repetae in many ways. There's also a bit more melody and tembre throughout, offering up a wide arrange of sounds and textures, with more sounds and textures burried within and under them in a way only very few artists can seem to pull off. The last half of the album feels a bit more hip-hop influenced and creates slightly brighter images within the mind while still keeping the dark and isolated feeling at the forefront throughout the hour and two minutes of music you'll have to dig into, process, dig deeper into, re-process, start to understand, re-re-process, and so on...

In short; the album may be an hour long, but you'll get far more than an hours worth of listening out of it. If you're a fan of older Autechre and looking for a connection to the newer Ae, Oversteps would be your best bet, followed by Quaristice, and then maybe Draft 7.30. But if you haven't really connected with the 2008 and 2010 outings, I don't know if there's much of a chance you'll get into Draft. If you're familiar with other electronic acts and are looking for something more complex, or more layered... more textured... something more like 'sound-art' or music you can close your eyes while listening to it and create an entire world within your head... I would completely, 100-friggin-% recommend you check out this album. It still holds up today (2016) - as in, if it could have been released yesterday and still be just as good. I'd also completely recommend it if you're an electronic musician yourself. You'll probably have an easier time breaking through the 'ae barrier' than others, and this is music that's actually worth listening to... over and over and over and over and over and over again. It's not throw-away music by any means.

I should also say that like most Autechre albums, Draft took a while to grow on me. At least 10 complete play-throughs before I broke through whatever was holding my brain back and it started to make sense. I do love the discovery of sounds, ideas and feelings while exploring an Ae release... there's nothing else like it for me when it comes to musical exploration.

syntheticvoid ,

Draft 7.30

Absolute masterpiece. I love it.

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