Title: We R Are Why
Format: 12" single
Catalogue Number: WAP72
Year of Release: 1996
A We R Are Why (8.35)
B Are Y Are We (6.05)
I'm sometimes reluctant to put running times down for these tracks. It's not like it's really important, is it? For starters, no two record players will play at exactly the same speed, and these fluctuations could add up to a number of seconds over one side of vinyl. Of course, the same is true of CD players, but record players don't have these little pretend-y counters on the front to try and lull you into believing that what you listen to on this machine will be the same as on any other. Because it just ain't so.
Secondly, I don't think anyone's ever gone out thinking, "I must buy me a single that's over 8 minutes long today". Never, ever. Ever.
Finally, this is Autechre we're dealing with here. They don't even tell you what speed you should be listening to the thing at.
But then, I thought, track times - even estimates - are another piece of information. They add authority and respectability, when combined with all the other information, the pictures and tracklistings and so on. They help say, "I'm not making this up, honest".
And I really do own this promotional 12" single, available by mail order only, from what became WarpMart. I have the figure 3000 in my head, for no good reason, but I think that's how many were made.
I listened through to it at 45rpm, and it was sadly underwhelming, especially given that Anvil Vapre was out before it, it sounds like a step backwards almost (Or maybe it sounds like an earlier outtake that could be dutifully employed in promoting a newly formed mail order business? Who can say).
Anyway, the A-side has some nice moments, good short noise stabs and a minimal, mechanical, melodical feel to it, but there's not really enough to hold the attention - only three or four things going on to pay attention too.
Side B begins with a nicely twisted hip-hop, R'n'B (in the modern sense) sort of beat, although polished to a high shine rather than made dirty and gruff. The metallic percussion in this one is much more interesting, and the slow droning bass good. The ghostly reverb-drenched melody is nothing new for them, but it works well enough. About halfway through a menacing bass noise comes in, and the tone of the track changes. Different beat and melody and stuff, but apart from faster clicking noises it's just the same sort of sounds differently arranged. Left me cold.