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Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Label: Pias America
Release: 1992

Tracklisting:
Xtal
Tha
Pulsewidth
Ageispolis
I
Green Calx
Heliospahn
we are the music makers
Schottkey 7th Path
Ptolemy
Hedphelym
Delphium
Actium
Selected Ambient Works 85-92 - Aphex Twin
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Average Blamo User Rating: (7 votes)

Richard James has a lot to explain.
His soundscapes cannot be denied to be considered the work of a madman, but a lot of people do not acknowledge that in his own small way that he is... a pioneer.

James was only 14 when he first began to take apart electronics and re-assembling them. By the following year, he was making his own synthesizers. This album is a collection of tracks made from 1985-1992. Richard is now just over the age of 30, so how old was he when he made some of these recordings?

I first heard this record after hearing his double-disc opus Drukqs, a collection of outtakes. Honestly, I only liked half of this when I played it all the way through, as I couldn't relish the idea of Richard making 'ambient' music work in his own way. It took me a while to realize that this was probably more groundbreaking stuff to hear in the late '80s than it is now.

"Xtal" contains an interesting soundscape in that it had to been a true original. I've heard the same songs by Moby, Orbital, you name it. It's so copied. Though I have to say, I'd rather hear songs like this over the aforementioned artists. It seems they have a lot of thanks for this man. "Tha" is one of the main tracks that never really hit my head in the right spot... it is a nine-minute excursion of low, droney keyboard work with tinny thumping beats. The production on this is phenomenal, however. I have to perceive this as being one of his earliest: the song even features human activity, like squeaking shoes on a hardwood floor, some talking heads chattering. If he was really 14 when he did this, he is truly a genius.

"Ageispolis" is right when the album starts to become a lot more interesting... synth tones as hot as your mother envelope this song with light bass and drum machine work that is unique in its own way. "Green Calx" was the first song I liked on this, and for good reason - it's just the right foreshadowing of the type of sound associated with his music today ("Come to Daddy", "Windowlicker", etc.) Very chaotic, even though quite basic if that makes any sense.

"Hedphelym" is the one song we've all heard... whether you've ever been to a rave or not, you've been in the presence of someone under the influence of ecstasy. And, this song comes on. It's that 'hammer-drum-made-to-sound-like-a-heartbeat' song. Even though you don't know what I could possibly mean, even in text, you'd know it if you heard it. I actually dig this type of sound. Sounds like torture... but a good torture!

I can't convince you to hear this. In fact, it'd be something if you can really listen to this with an open mind and not state, "this sounds like recycled garbage!" Well, this started the trend of modern electronic music today. You hear these songs on Honda commercials: they're that accessible. In time, you will love almost all of it.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

does ambient rhyme with boring? no? well it should. mostly boring crap that richard james recorded from the time he was very young, to the time he wasn't as young as he originally was.

all the songs basically sound similar. some "soothing" synths, and a beat. not a very good beat either, but a cheap sounding beat. a really cheap sounding beat. sure, he built his own machines and stuff, and that's cool that he did. but damn it sounds like crap!!!!

don't buy this. i know you probably heard it's really good, and for awhile i tried to be fooled into thinking it was worth anything. it's not. BUT if you do have to get an ambient album by aphex twin get this and not ambient volume two. that album... is worse than this, mostly becuase of hte lenght, but partially because there are no beats to help you know... make you think at all. *vomit*

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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