Jan 27, 2010

Autechre's Oversteps: fake leak scandal and a cellarful of gibbons

(Edit: see the comments on this post for a link to the real Autechre leak. Meanwhile, read about the February 2010 release of the album here.)

For a few giddy moments last night, I held in my hairy hands Autechre's glistening new album, Oversteps.

I wrote a brilliant review which described the album as a meistewerk: surprising, disorientating, devastating and effective. My writing was so brilliant, Shakespeare would have drooled on his ruff.

And yet, one of my hundred gibbon researchers leant close to me later in the evening and said, "Fats, it's a fake. The album leak is a fake."

I was devastated. I punched him hard in the face and sent him to back to his damp cellar without a banana.

Deflating balloon farts

Oh how the review trilled. I spoke of chiming frequency modulation, a playful whirr of whistles and bleeps like a pissed-up R2D2, ambient interludes effusing cold isolation and creeping horror, staccato hits that sounded like lip smacking or a deflating balloon fart.

It turns out the album, discovered by many people on file-sharing site Soulseek, was the eponymous debut by Altered:Carbon and was set for release on February 7th. The band are relative unknowns and, yes, they do sound a bit like Autechre.

To my shame, I went from caning the album on my gramophone to being no longer interested. I careered from simpering love to cold indifference. Just because it was no longer Manchester's finest electronic music duo.

Why? It's a storming old-school techno album full of analogue fatness and eerie four-chord melodies. Was it cheapened because it wasn't Autechre? Do I trade off names so easily? Why does my mind work like that?


The clues were there. This was the sound of not-Autechre having fun in the studio, which seemed out of character. It was a move by not-Autechre towards solid beats and structure rather than difficult algorithms, which should have set alarm bells hooting.

But the biggest clue was in this not-Autechre album feeling much more part of a wider musical landscape than the usual, isolationist Autechre beloved of purists: a synth chime borrowed from In Sides-era Orbital; Windowlicker drum stabs; more than a brace of head-nods to Plaid.

If Altered:Carbon deliberately leaked the album pretending to be Autechre, they are reprehensible and should be sent into the corner of electronica.

Knock-down ginger

But I suspect it was some wag playing the online version of knock-down ginger to tease uber-earnest techno fans. I hope a new band gets a splatterful of extra listeners through this bizarre publicity.

Unless, of course, Altered:Carbon are Autechre in disguise. Ooooh, my head hurts. I leave this blog post saddened at my own fickleness. I'm off downstairs to shoot all the gibbons.

Get Altered:Carbon via creative commons label Section 27 when it comes out. Meanwhile, the best way of hearing Autechre's Oversteps is is by pre-ordering it now. While you're at it, read my other Autechre writings.

(Thanks to Rob for making this post possible in a way I didn't quite expect.)


Anonymous said...

Hooting. We definitely need more hooting. Why don't owls make electronic music anyhows?

Fat Roland said...

You, my anonymous friend, have obviously never heard of Owl City.

Anonymous said...

so now there's a second leak doing the rounds:

i'm sure after the ordeal of the altered carbon leak, everyone's gonna be skeptical, but at least to my ears this one sounds a bit more legitimate.

Fat Roland said...

G'day to you, anonymous, and thanks for the comment. RapidShare being RapidShare means I will probably get to download this in 2057.

I'll grab it when I can, but yes, it's right to be skeptical.

(If anyone can get this onto a *decent* downloading service, then post a link here.)

Fat Roland said...

I've finally listened to the new "Autechre".

Yes, actually, it's a pretty good take on the band, but everything about it suggests it's a fake.

Then again, I should have realised that about the A:C leak too...

Anonymous said...

Well that AC fake is shite! I was so glad it wasnt Autechre! Now i can rest easy until my Dl comes ;o)

Fat Roland said...

I think we all just have to be patient and wait, like teacher taught us in school. And anyone who leaks any more pretend Ae gets detention.

Anonymous said...

The real deal!! It's awesome!!!

Fat Roland said...

Really? REALLY? I'm downloading as I type. I'm a sucker for this stuff.

Anonymous said...


Fat Roland said...

First Oversteps track on YouTube:


Fat Roland said...

I should also point out these wise words posted by someone on a recent forum:

"Autechre have admitted to releasing 'fake leaks' themselves before, and let's be honest they aren't daft or inexperienced so even if the leak is by them it doesn't guarantee that it 'is' Oversteps."

Anonymous said...

Well the mediafire link i gave you is from a promo CD ;o)

Fat Roland said...

Ooo, thanks anonymous.

Gah! I need to listen to this, but my computer is a right nobface. Honestly. It can't cope with the m4a format, so it won't play the mediafire file.

Promo CD or no promo CD, I'm going to smash my computer with a hammer.

pixelife said...

The M4A is it. Sounds bad in comparison to the CD though. Got my watermarked promo in the mail today.

Anonymous said...

Well i didnt want to do a full rip,this was ment for demo purpose nothing more,plus the file sounds good on PC,also i hope everyone will buy the CD/vinyl when it's out.

Fat Roland said...

My blog post is now being used to promote the Altered:Carbon album (with permission, naturally) here:


I still can't read the m4a file. I need to get myself on promo lists!

Anonymous said...

Hey to read the m4a file just download foobar,it's a great player,but if you want i can do a mp3 rip?

Anonymous said...

1. r ess
2. ilanders
3. known(1)
4. pt2ph8
5. qplay
6. see on see
7. Treale
8. os veix3
9. O=0
10. d-sho qub
11. st epreo
12. redfall
13. krYlon
14. Yuop

Fat Roland said...

Thanks, 8:11PM anonymous. I've downloaded Foobar.

Fat Roland said...

The mediafire link (scroll up!) is indeed the real Autechre album. Thank you, anonymous promo CD person.

Everyone, do now buy the digital release, which is now up on Bleep.

Get the latest here:

Anonymous said...

Hi Fat Roland,

is there any information on the second fake leak you posted here? The music is brilliant and I'd just like to know who really is behind it. Any idea?

Fat Roland said...

No-one seems to have got to the bottom of the second leak (i.e. not the real one, not the Altered:Carbon one). If anyone else knows, please leave a comment.

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Sure, Homie. Meet me round the back of the Arndale Centre at midnight, behind the recycling bins. I'll be the one dressed as a gorilla. Come alone.

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I'm glad you think it is "really good written", Lots.

But enough is enough. If you post again, I will have Tucows pull your domains for spamming.

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Anonymous said...

Looks like Altered:Carbon have shapeshifted....


Fat Roland said...

Thank you for that. I've posted it here: