Fleure – Autechre

I discovered this album and style of music recently, completely different from what I’m used to as I haven’t listened to music sans words much before. But this- listening to it, it’s like- the music feels as though it is crawling into my mind as I hear it. Totally cerebral and personal, rather than the emotion of hearing someone’s voice and words in a song. It induces an exciting peaceful state of sorts. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. Some might view it as empty and stupid. But everyone hears differently, right?

This song, Fleure, is the first song on this 2 hr. album, Exai, from the duo Autechre from UK. Autechre seems to be quite a successful group in their genre. Released in 2013, it is their 11th album, in their long career since the 80s’. It falls into the genre of electronica and what is deemed “intelligent dance music (IDM)”. That label as “intelligent” might rub some the wrong way as it might sound insulting to other styles, but it makes sense given the nature and intent of the music. It has some industrial hip hop sounds as well. And it is quite artistic, a complex combination of rhythms and sounds, so it might fall into art techno too.

This music reminds me of the geometric art of the Suprematist movement in early 20th century Russia. It has a similar aesthetic and idea. In Suprematism, the art does not depict an object or subject. The abstract, or even basic, shapes and colors, and their composition, is what evokes feeling in the viewer. Rather than their feeling being influenced by the artist’s intent or any unconscious real-life associations they make or have to an object or subject that they see in the painting. The viewer’s experience of the art is pure and personal this way. No interpretation of the artist’s intent or meaning is necessary in this kind of art, as there exists no direct symbolism or representation in it. It is quite liberating.

This music is similar to that style of art in the sense that since there are no words, there is no explicit intent or meaning of feeling being communicated. It doesn’t have to be experienced as romantic or fun or sad or anything, as there are no words to force these feelings and associations on us as listeners in this. It is relaxing in this way, as we get to feel as much as we’re capable and want to, while still being unpredictable enough to keep us exploring it and it’s effect on us.

I hope this makes sense. Maybe it won’t to some people. This is just my interpretation of the music and its style. It could be completely wrong. As I said in the beginning, I have no prior experience listening to electronic music or music sans words before this. Also I have no technical experience with music either, I’m just a casual listener, so there could be a lot of musical terms and ideas that I’m missing or unaware of that play a role in this. Either way, I hope you enjoy it, but it’s ok if you don’t. Comments, opinions, recommendations? 🙂

Also, what is fun to do when listening to this kind of music on Youtube, is using the speed setting to slow it down or speed it up a notch. 😀

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