It's pretty much a character-defining kind of thing: Either you think the seminal U.K. electronic act Autechre are taking the ball and running with it to places you didn't know existed, or you're convinced that they've gone bleak, technical and chaotic, and you just want them to write some damn melodies again. But really, that's like criticizing surfing for being kind of wet, and if it's the first thing you hear about Autechre, let it be something you quickly move beyond.

Comprised of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, Autechre are ambient/IDM pioneers, or perhaps godfathers, of U.K. electronica, along with Warp labelmates Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. From the 1993 release of "Incunabula," through 1995's "Tri Repetea++" -- the pinnacle of the band for those who loved their harmonic, ambient side -- and onto 2001's "Confield" and 2003's "draft 7.30" -- where things got much more complicated, harsh and acutely digital -- the duo has always challenged existing fans, while attracting new ones.

Critics may be unanimously unable to describe the music, but Autechre can be quite eloquent and lucid in their own defense. Before coming to Japan to perform at Electraglide tonight and tomorrow, Brown spoke by phone to The Japan Times about self-consciousness, Thom Yorke and Japanese audiences.