Aphex Twin – Richard D. James Album (1996)

Aphex Twin is the namesake of Richard D. James. Which explains where this album got its name from. It marks an interesting twist in the career of Aphex Twin, well known for creating the Selected Ambient Works albums, which were very popular. This is a later release, showing a more quirky side to Aphex Twin’s musical approach. It’s geared more towards IDM rather than Ambient music this time around. It’s a brilliant listen for any quirky EDM fan out there.

begins this album, with ultra cut-up beats and melodic sound structures. It’s nothing like what he was doing earlier on, It is really brilliant here though, and fits the IDM style mood nicely. It’s perfectly balanced in its use of sonic structures and use of fine detail and melody within the piece.

Cornish Acid follows and is more balanced, with science fiction like acid sounds and more reoccurring cut-up beats. It’s a simpler, but still brilliantly done music piece. The name says it all? Perhaps it does.

The next piece, Peek 82454201, is much more minimalist. Quirky name aside, it’s a continuation of the theme throughout this album. It sounds insanely complex. A wonderful musical expression from Aphex Twin. The outro stops dead in its tracks.

After that, we have Fingerbib. This is nothing at all like what we have heard on this recording so far. It is almost reminiscent of Glitch music but is simple and melodic. It’s a great addition to an already great album. It’s an excellent and mellow piece.

Carn Marth is the next track along and is leaning towards Drum and Bass, although it is still very much the experimental cut-up sounds we have heard earlier on the album. Listening to this makes one wonder how much effort was placed into this album, in short, a lot. Never a dull moment here.

To Cure A Weakling Child is unusual. It sounds like aliens made this track. Sampling a child’s talk, it goes into cut-up frenzy, almost sounding like a messed up lullaby. It’s effective and interesting enough to keep on listening through. Perhaps the cure for a weakling child is music? We will never know.

The following track Goon Gumpas is a short instrumental with less randomness, and more ambient melody. It’s an interesting thing to place this into an album such as this one. Sounds very gentle and mellow.

Arriving next, we have Yellow Calx. More interesting cut up percussion and metallic sounds exist here. Words cannot do enough justice for this album, it has to be listened to be believed. With unusual time signatures and free form sounds, it definitely sounds top notch.

Girl/Boy Song begins slowly, with a classically influenced melody. It joins with more trippy, cut-up beats and becomes an interesting and very listenable piece in its own right. It pounds away with the basic melody in the background. This is one for those who like to listen to different instruments at different times, this great piece will suit you well. Progressive IDM? Perhaps.

Logan Rock Witch is the last track on this recording. It has some Crash Bandicoot like sound effects at the start, with an organ melody following it. This is definitely “out there”, if you enjoy a bit of randomness. Solidly good all the same. The album ends, and you feel like wanting more.

This is the real deal for a quirky electronic album. It is so well done that you never yawn, look at the clock or feel bored. For those who wish to explore surrealistic, cut up, beatastic IDM like music, definitely give this a whirl. Epic listening.

9/10