Find Me On:
It’s out there, for those who look in those ways… but GAAH! I can’t wait for the vinyl to get here next week.
Every Aphex Twin record has been a compilation. He’s always been up front about the fact that nearly everything he’s released under that name was a collection of what he’d been doing for the last 2-3 years.
Also, I can’t go with SAW I as his best release. For me ‘I Care Because You Do’ easily takes that crown, and that release went so far as to tell you what year each track was recorded.
Lastly, while I agree wholeheartedly with the description of the way Aphex songs can make you feel, how uncomfortable and other-worldly they sounded, even when they were possible the most beautiful thing you’d heard in years, I still flummoxed by the fact that so many people don’t seem to be taking the Analord series and The Tuss releases into account when listening to this new album.
To my ears, you can’t possibly understand how he got here, to SYRO, without comparing them to those releases. Because that’s what this is. This is everything RDJ did after the SAW albums – I Care Because You Do, RDJ Album, Windowlicker, Drukqs – filtered through what he’d learned about the museums worth of equipment he’d purchased to make the Analord and Tuss releases.
It’s all here – the off-kilter hip-hop beats, the hand claps, the wash of warm analogue synth patches, the impossibly intricate drum programming (he shames most other producers here and always have) that changes throughout some of the tracks in ways so minute that you might not notice it’s happened until the 10th or 12 listen, the heartbreakingly beautiful melodies, those signature Aphex “303″ lines (although many of them sound like they’re coming from different machines he’s programmed to make similar sounds – so ridiculously good), the haunting (and humorous) vocal samples, the bleeps, bloop, clangs and squiggles, songs filled with 15 ideas that still feel like one cohesive piece of music. Yes, it’s all here, but it’s not the same…
As hard as it is for me to say it, as much as I NEVER would have believed it was possible… it’s BETTER than before! It’s better produced and mixed. The sounds he chose to use make more sense and blend together in a more enjoyable way than ever before. The ideas he’s packing into each track compliment each other in the most kind ways. And to me, this all stems from the work he did on the Analord and Tuss releases. Those releases were made as he was buying up and collecting new equipment, post Drukqs, which was largely a computer created work (even the real instruments were programmed/run with computers). Here, it sounds like he’s taken the combined experience of those first five years post Drukqs and spent the next five years running it through the sum total of the music making knowledge he’d acquired from 1989-2001. In the process making something that is undeniably and unashamedly Aphex Twin, but new and exciting all the same.
Yes, it’s very commercial. The first two tracks are 15 minutes of the most beautiful music he’s ever created. The “Metz track” (mentioned by the author of this piece – it’s called XMAS_EVET10 [thanaton3 mix]) does not disappoint! It was so worth the wait. That being said, I hope he remains inspired and continues to release new material (like the old days preferably!), because I can’t wait to hear how he applies these new ideas and techniques to music he would deem less commercial, or even experimental.
After listening to it several times, as much as I pushed against it at first, I do see how one could compare it to SAW I. But only in that it doesn’t have any songs that really go all out in regards to ripping off your head and violently stirring your grey matter. It is a fairly mellow listen, but it doesn’t live in the sound or production pallet of that era at all.
Don’t skip ahead. Don’t skip tracks. You MUST let Aphex Twin tracks and albums grow and breath on their own in order to really get the full affect.
Agreed, except for the fact that the sales of vinyl have been increasing for years and will never get as low as they once were. When everything else has gone 100% digital files/streaming of one kind or another, vinyl will still be around.
No, he’s actually ripping have a second guitarist ON STAGE playing the same parts as Dave Grohl, which is sometimes true. Sometimes one of the other guitar players (the Foos actually have three) IS playing the same part as Dave. But so what? A literally uncountable number of metal bands do this every day. It’s a weird thing to pick on. However, sometimes all three Foos guitar players (often, even) are playing three different parts. I’ve seen them a number of times and it’s very clear why they have three guitar players. Not only that, but they sound better than when they had two. That’s their deal and it works for them.
Everything else Jack is “ranting”/not-ranting about rings 100% true to me.
‘Dear God’ is one of the single most brilliant and perfect songs ever written. I’m constantly amazed that it isn’t regularly covered by modern/current bands as its message has never become dated.
I don’t care about what target they were aiming for. I’m bothered, firstly, by the fact that various types of negative, sarcastic “journalism” have taken over stereogum, replacing what used to be an obvious love for many types of music entertainment with the same elitists snark that can found at literally HUNDREDS of other blogs and music site. Second, I find their complete disregard for their own previous stance on the girl kissing stage rusher disgusting. How about even a tiny bit of journalistic integrity, please.
But that has nothing to do with Stereogum’s aggressively negative ‘journalism’, nor their one-sided, contradictory stance on rushing the stage.
So the guy who tried to kiss the girls on stage is a criminal, but this guy, wigging out all over stage violently, is a hero? How about fuck you Stereogum.
Siiigh…. put this in the wrong place…
In the wrong place, let me try this again…