The Aphex Twin - Classics
Label: R & S Records – RS 95035
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Repress
Released: Sep 2006
Style: IDM, Hardcore, Techno
A1 Aphex Twin – Digeridoo 7:08
A2 Aphex Twin – Flaphead 6:57
A3 Aphex Twin – Phloam 5:30
B1 Aphex Twin – Isopropanol 6:20
B2 Aphex Twin – Polynomial-C 4:43
B3 Aphex Twin – Tamphex (Hedphuq Mix) 6:28
C1 Aphex Twin – Phlange Phace 5:19
C2 Aphex Twin – Dodeccaheedron 6:05
C3 Aphex Twin – Analogue Bubblebath 1 4:44
D1 Aphex Twin – Metapharstic 4:31
D2 Mescalinum United – We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin QQT Mix)
Producer, Written-By – Mover, The
Remix – Aphex Twin 4:20
D3 Mescalinum United – We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin TTQ Mix)
Producer, Written-By – Mover
Remix – Aphex Twin 5:03
D4 Aphex Twin – Digeridoo (Live In Cornwall 1990) 6:20
Producer, Written-By – Richard D. James (tracks: A1 to D1, D4)
This compilation represents much of Aphex Twin's earliest work. All of these songs vividly illustrate the fact that sometimes less is indeed more. For the most part, the tracks on "Classics" were put together using little more than a synthesizer (Roland's TB-303), a drum machine, and effects. The result is some of the most compelling electronic music you'll ever hear. It's their stripped-down simplicity that gives these arrangements their tremendous energy. "Digeridoo" is a mesmerizing techno song that has no right to be as good as it is, considering that it is only a drum track with an endlessly repeated 303 synth line. The rest of the songs on this collection are of similar caliber.
Aphex Twin (Richard D.James) can claim to be one of dance music's greatest innovators and composers. Since the late 80's he has been recording his own home brewed techno which defied and rebelled against the dance music trends that were then currently dominating the clubs and charts. This album starts off with his breakthrough release - Digeridoo. It is a vicious attack on the eardrums with merely a pulsating digeridoo in the mix with punishing bass and drums dipping in and out. It is incredibly exciting to listen to and reminds you how pathetic some of the current dance music other europeans are producing, DJs such as Darude and all that Ibiza tripe that fills our radio waves and music charts.
The rest of the album is a mix of hard-hitting 'nosebleed' techno and gentler, ambientesque tunes. The best of the louder tracks on the album are 'Isopropanol' and 'Phlange Phace'. The former is an astonishing song with a punishing bass line that threatens to cause your speakers to implode. As the track progresses, demonic handclaps, acid bursts and a spooky keyboard line sneak into the mix. The overall track feels very claustrophobic and inescapable as it changes beats, meshes two different drum loops together and climaxes in a combustion of sound and energy and breaks down into a simple clapping drum loop and finishes. By the end of the song you feel exhausted and drawn out but then the album continues unmercifully and you simply surrender to it's wonders and hidden treasures.
The latter song I mentioned, 'Phlange Phace' is even more astonishing in the authors audacity and inventiveness with a drum machine and keyboard. It begins with ominous, striking keyboard stabs and a racing drum loop which just grabs your attention and holds you in its grasp for a further five minutes. The tempo just consistently changes with differnt effects and textures comandeering the mix and you just listen in awe.
There are indeed gentler moments. 'Polynomial-C' fades in with a rolling keyboard sample and cutting strings. It is a beautiful song which is eventually driven along by stuttering drums.
'Classics' is full of little moments of genius like little string samples jumping in and out of a song which is purely bass and drums. This structure, heavenly sample put over a mangling beat is used quite alot in the Aphex back catalogue, but it always seems well used and never familiar, always fresh and exciting. Aphex Twin is a true innovator and should always be remembered as one. A dance producer and composer always pushing the boundaries of music as we know it. This was the first Aphex Twin album I bought, if you are unfamiliar with the Twin, I suggest you also make this your first purchase by this most amazing artist.
Other recommended listens are his 'I Care Because You Do' album and his 'Windowlicker' single.
Aphex Twin - Polynomial C
Aphex Twin - Digeridoo
Aphex Twin - Isopropanol
Luke Vibert drops 'Isopropanol' (by Aphex Twin) at the Warehouse Project, Manchester, 2009
Aphex Twin - Flaphead
Funky Hardcore Beats!