In the ambient-electronic and drill n' bass worlds of electronic music, many consider Richard D. James, or the Aphex Twin, to be a genius. Performing under many monikers such as:AFX, Power-Pill, Caustic Window and Polygon Window, he has many releases under his belt. Born in Cornwall, England in 1971, Richard has been sculpting electronic noises into music from before the time he turned a teenager. Releasing his first album in 1991, AFX's Analogue Bubblebath*, he then changed his name to Aphex Twin and released the legendary album Selected Ambient Works '85-'92 in 1992.
In 1995, Richard released an album titled Classics. This CD is a collection of tracks from early in James' career. Though I, and other Aphex Twin fans, will and do love this CD I wouldn't recommend it as the first Aphex purchase you make. Compared to other Aphex Twin albums, this one is hardcore. The bass heavy beats on these tracks will kick your eardrums in. Containing such songs as: Digeridoo, Digeridoo (live), Isopropanol, Analogue Bubblebath 1, Phloam, Tamphlex (Hedphuq mix) and two early remixes of We Have Arrived, this CD is sure to have you dancing and bobbing your head to the beats for hours on end. Any Aphex Twin fan, or bass loving electronica fan, should get this CD because I am sure you will like it.
Now, just because Richard has had all this success with music and has done it for the length of time he has, don't think he would enjoy a long successful career. No, Richard has made numerous threats to his fans of retirement. After 1996, Richard holed himself up in a wall away from the public eye until his recent release of the double CD Drukqs.
He must have composed quite a large amount of music in that time because this release is a double CD with 30 songs on it, clocking in at over 100+ minutes of music. Don't let this amount of music make you think listening to this the whole way through both discs is a chore. I found the entire release to be quite an enjoyable listen, and easily spun it in one sitting.
Damn near every track on Drukqs is unpronounceable though. With song names like: Strotha Tynhe, Hy a Scullyas Lyf a Dhagrow, Btoum-Roumada and Petiatil Cx Htdui you'll have to remember track numbers to recommend favorite songs to friends.
Drukqs is chock full of several varieties of music. From the drill n' bass of 54 Cymru Beats, plain Aphex Style techno of Bbydhyonchord, the ambience of Gwely Mernans and Btoum-Roumada and the trip hop beats of Orban Eq Trx4 & Taking Control, this double album is aimed at a wide variety of musical tastes. It even has a haunting, eerie track titled Gwarek 2 for us dark music lovers out here.
Combining the diversity of these 2 CD's with the large amount of music contained on them, there is enough of everything here to please almost everyone. So, run out and grab this CD, throw it in and join in screaming, "Come on cunt, let's have some fucking Aphex acid!!!" You won't be disappointed.
* Reviewed in Legends #96.