Exai

  • Record Label: Warp
  • Release Date: Mar 5, 2013
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
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  1. Oct 18, 2016
    10
    Why a 10? Without apology, but understanding that beauty is in the eye of the beholder;
    Completely ahead if it's time, this 2013 release came at a defunct dry spell in music. At the time, it was the only release that shouted freedom from norms - and still does - loudly, quietly, and tastefully.
    Verging on some of the weirdest and most experimental Autechre albums, it does so in a highly
    Why a 10? Without apology, but understanding that beauty is in the eye of the beholder;
    Completely ahead if it's time, this 2013 release came at a defunct dry spell in music. At the time, it was the only release that shouted freedom from norms - and still does - loudly, quietly, and tastefully.
    Verging on some of the weirdest and most experimental Autechre albums, it does so in a highly digestible way. It has a strange feature that the more one attempts to decipher the music, the more elusive and enigmatic it becomes. A beat goes on for a while, one's brain accepts it, and then one realizes that it has been brought down into the newest of places, all the while bobbing their head. Impossibly combined sounds are made possible, beats are morphed without one realizing until minutes later, and arrangements pull one around in ways only few musicians can pull off - needledrop any song on this album and it will be apparent. Also a deeply soulful and yes emotional album, this one is for the years to come. Probably the best Autechre to date. Of course, it may be intolerably challenging for some sensibilities, but so is top 40 to most of us.
    Comparable albums, oddly enough, other than all the other obvious ones; Hello Nasty by the Beastie Boys and Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder. They both have that hidden incredible ingenuity, that manner of luring the listener into some incredible headspaces.
    Thanks Rob and Sean - you guys killed it.
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  2. Sep 27, 2013
    9
    Review? No, just some words about this highly detailed, heavy and amazing album by Ae.

    When i first listened to this album, i wasn't able to hear some kind of coherent object or concept. But after a couple of runs, i found this "red thread" in the core of the sounds and the feel they bring. The design is just amazing. Brilliantly taking the listener to another world. I was always a big
    Review? No, just some words about this highly detailed, heavy and amazing album by Ae.

    When i first listened to this album, i wasn't able to hear some kind of coherent object or concept. But after a couple of runs, i found this "red thread" in the core of the sounds and the feel they bring. The design is just amazing. Brilliantly taking the listener to another world. I was always a big Confield fan. And still are, but this album is already taking over that place...it took Confield 1 year to get at that place.

    Exai is not only great to listen from beginning to end, but also, because it contains 2 CD's, as a 2 part album. The 2 parts have their own feel and drive.

    Some, IMHO, stand-out tracks are Irlite (Get 0), Prac-F, Bladelores, Nodezsh, Spl9 and Cloudline. My fav Ae track is still Lentic Catachresis though.
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  3. Jul 16, 2013
    7
    An enjoyable album for most IDM or experimental fans. I'm not the biggest Autechre fan but I can appreciate them for their textured and complex rhythms, mixed with some of the craziest patterns I've ever heard. If you're not heavily into IDM or Autechre I suggest you start else where, it can be a bit overwhelming for those new.
  4. May 14, 2013
    8
    Autechre have laid down another LP that's brilliantly designed to blow your mind. Two hours of impressive detailed beats, ambient layers and soaring drum machines, make Exai one of the most irreverently entertaining albums I've heard in a long time.
  5. Apr 25, 2013
    7
    This album is great but it seems like this is more of an album that is meant for long serving Autechre fans. Some tracks on here seem to be somewhat over filled and unnecessary for the album. A couple stand-out tracks are Fleure, bladeloras, deco loc and recks on.
  6. Mar 25, 2013
    10
    Autechre is one of those interesting dance bands. IDM is fun, hippy and by far, superb. I guess this could be the best of 2013 so far. Ambient grooving dance tracks and electronics. Dance now. Buy now!
  7. Mar 10, 2013
    9
    Apologies if this review comes off as biased and unprofessional, but I've been a fan of Autechre since the late 1990s. With Exai being their eleventh album since 1993, and in light of their recent radio show, this is evidence that Mr. Booth and Mr. Brown are still very much alive in their career. It might also be worth noting that Sonny John Moore (Skrillex) name-drops Autechre as one ofApologies if this review comes off as biased and unprofessional, but I've been a fan of Autechre since the late 1990s. With Exai being their eleventh album since 1993, and in light of their recent radio show, this is evidence that Mr. Booth and Mr. Brown are still very much alive in their career. It might also be worth noting that Sonny John Moore (Skrillex) name-drops Autechre as one of his influences, along with other Warp contemporaries. As for the album itself, it feels more assertive and mechanized than its preceding album Oversteps (2010), while still venturing into new sonic territory. Tracks like "irlite (get 0)" and "1 1 is" exhibit the trend of agile bass synthesis that is a signature of dubstep. "Bladelores" is a gentle, earthy ambient groove, while "recks on" opens with kit drums a nod to old school hip hop, while the second half of the track progresses with ominous robotic synth pads and similarly evolving drums. And the final track, "YJY UX", with moderate-paced groove and digitized yet silky chimes is a great conclusion to the album.

    Overall, Exai is my top 2013 album without question, and hope that the single most influential music duo of my life will continue their career as electronic music legends.
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Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    Longtime fans will be pleased to hear that not all of Exai is a mature, intellectual exploration of the possibilities of electronic music.
  2. Mar 26, 2013
    62
    Listening to the record as a whole is sort of like meandering through an exhibit of miniature, spasming wire sculptures.
  3. Under The Radar
    Mar 22, 2013
    65
    It's a challenging record. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.97]