James , best known as Aphex Twin, is far and away one of the most celebrated and influential electronic musicians of all time. This helped expand his audience from ravers and critics to rock fans, with numerous non-electronic musicians citing him as an inspiration. His piano composition "Avril 14th" from the divisive album Drukqs gradually took on a life of its own through TV and film usage, and became his most widely heard piece. James began taking apart electronics gear as a teenager growing up in Cornwall, England. If the title Selected Ambient Works is to be believed, it contains recordings made at the age of Middleton left later that year to form Global Communication , after which James recorded a second volume in the Analogue Bubblebath series.
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Share on Twitter Open share drawer Drukqs. Drug use? Your guess is as good Your guess is as good as mine. After two years of public silence and what many had judged to be his final exit from the world of corporate music, the original IDM iconoclast has returned with another puzzle.
The problem with Drukqs, a two-disc, track medley that allegedly wraps up Richard D. It says something that Aphex enthusiasts expect James to reinvent himself with every record, and that the general reaction to this album which has been trading hands over online piracy channels for months has been somewhat unenthusiastic. From a man who has made a career staying a step ahead of his fans, an album as conventional as Drukqs comes as a sad surprise.
Most of the tracks are brief melodic exercises conducted on piano and harpsichord, styled after "Nannou" from the Windowlicker EP. There are several purely electro-acoustic excursions, some in the cacophonous vein of the "equation" song on Windowlicker, others more reminiscent of the lysergic drone of Selected Ambient Works II. His production talents have their bounds, and they wear a little thin when he dons the mantle of artistic maturity, attempting to imitate Erik Satie.
James fares better in other arenas. A muffled, throbbing pulse propels "Gwely Mernans" through a macabre tableau of disembodied strings and white noise. Other honorable mentions include "Vordhosbn," whose wistful and occasionally dissonant timbre is offset by the biting ring of blistering drums.
The sterile, clinical feel and limited palette of the heavier electro numbers renders them grating, one-dimensional and sometimes entirely unlistenable.
Even the successful drill-n-bass pieces offer only shallow satisfaction. James Album, which not only struck fans on a personal level, but often reshaped the way they listened to music.
Drukqs speaks a familiar tongue, instead of inviting us to learn new languages; it gives us the answers before asking the riddles. In this sense, it defies every expectation we had of Richard D.
But in hindsight, it seems to show that some conventions are worth following.
aphex twin - avril 14th.mid Midi file, 4 kB
APHEX TWIN | RICHARD D. JAMES