AOTY 2020
Autechre - SIGN
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
2020 Ratings: #322 / 767
User Score
Based on 165 ratings
2020 Ratings: #344
Liked by 5 people
October 16, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Warp / Label
Ambient, Electronic / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Clash
It is their most immediate and enjoyable album to date. The music has a distant, crushing vibe to it, that is totally captivating, but the music isn’t claustrophobic. It gives itself, and the listen, room to breathe and move.
90
Uncut
This abstruse couple appear to have deliberately compiled an album of their most beautiful tracks.
81
Pitchfork

SIGN is an exceptionally engaging listen: lean, intermittently sedate, even quite pretty.

80
Exclaim!

For seasoned fans looking for their next fix of boundary-pushing explorations, this will likely seem a tad pedestrian, but SIGN is still an incredible piece of work, even if it's not bending the rules of music production into infinity.

80
musicOMH
The tracks don’t have that much in the way of structure, as they create a mood, marinate in it for around five minutes, then bow out gracefully, and the novelty of the sound design makes this approach perfectly enjoyable.
80
Mojo
If nothing else, their fourteenth album highlights a voracious creative appetite and their relationship's enduring strength.
80
The Young Folks

For a band that thrives on complicating all they can, SIGN is a welcome simplifier that doesn’t sacrifice its quality, and proves even thirty years into a career, you can still make great changes.

79
Beats Per Minute

On SIGN, the duo continue to beguile and confound, still frequently eliciting thoughts of ‘How did they even make this?’ That it’s also their most flat-out gorgeous album in ages is a satisfying bonus.

70
Loud and Quiet

SIGN reaps the duo’s sensory qualities by attaching a rare melodic depth to their expansive sound.

70
AllMusic

SIGN is one of the more approachable Autechre releases in quite some time, and an easier starting (or reentry) point for listeners who aren't committed enough to plunge into their headier works.

60
The Guardian
A surprisingly melodic proper album is welcome from the electronic pioneers, but its dystopian soundworld is now in a crowded market.
koner1
57
The lesser IDM duo on the Warp label is back with a new album! And it's boring. Truth be told I'm not a huge Autechre fan to begin with. I like their debut but I was hugely let down by "Confield" which is considered one of their classic releases, and "SIGN" left me unimpressed as well.

I can't pin down exactly what this album is missing. There's a very obvious focus on ambient soundscapes, but none of them really pull me in and keep me interested. It's like they're not ... read more
Pickle
61
Autechre going ambient is a pleasurable surprise wrapped in their latest album SIGN. SIGN has a relatively warm colour palette on its cover compared to the rest of their discography. The orange circle on the dark grey background can be inferred as a portal to another dimension. SIGN can be interpreted as sign of a new era, and this album showcases a new adventurous direction which Autechre is heading to.
The first half of the album contains complex, mechanical glitches, while the second half ... read more
DCCXX
75
Autechre's return to form after the long winded and wildly experimental elseq and NTS Sessions is a stark reminder that the electronic duo can still mastermind and pioneer the IDM genre, nearly 30 years after Incunabula. Paring their offering back to just over an hour of material, SIGN doesn't reinvent the wheel, but provides some gorgeous glitchy synthscapes that underscore the brilliance of Autechre's calculated dissonance.

F7 feels like the spiritual successor to Oversteps' known(1), with ... read more
Muratka
83
All in all, 'SIGN' is a good album, although straightforward in one note, but still true to Autechre.
Doofy
74
Far from their most intimidating release - in fact anyone missing Boards of Canada will probably find a lot to appreciate in these mesmeric offerings.

A bit of a time machine, this sounds like '90s Autechre form.
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Track List

  1. M4 Lema
  2. F7
  3. si00
  4. esc desc
  5. au14
  6. Metaz form8
  7. sch.mefd 2
  8. gr4
  9. th red a
  10. psin AM
  11. r cazt
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Added on: September 2, 2020