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Donkey Rhubarb - EP

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Album Review

Continuing his twin fascinations with the avant-garde and the humorously populist, James cooks up some fun on this four-song release, which followed I Care Because You Do by some months and borrowed a bit of its cover art. The title track is reminiscent of "On," more stylistically than musically, with a lovely main melody dressed up with quick beats, bleeps, and the like; it's a madcap little whirl that gets more stripped down in the second half before fading out with the lead melody once more. "Vaz Deferenz" is comparatively more straightforward; it's also fast-paced but rides everything a little harder — it's not "Quoth," for instance, but this is more nervous laughter than giddy. "Pancake Lizard" in contrast has a more deliberate pace, with a rough drum loop offset by soft strings and even a bit of acoustic guitar. The real surprise is a version of "Icct Hedral," an I Care track which is covered here by none other than Philip Glass, a vocal Aphex fan for some time. The connections between avant-techno's minimalism and that of Glass' variety have often been spoken of, but here it finally comes to life, the original's chilly melody made even more serenely beautiful and disturbing all at once thanks to Glass' fine orchestration.


Born: 18 August 1971 in Limerick, Ireland

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Exploring the experimental possibilities inherent in acid and ambience, the two major influences on home-listening techno during the late '80s, Richard D. James' recordings as Aphex Twin brought him more critical praise than any other electronic artist. Though his first major single, "Didgeridoo," was a piece of acid thrash designed to tire dancers during his DJ sets, ambient stylists and critics later took him under their wing for Selected Ambient Works 85-92, a sublime touchstone in the field of...
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Donkey Rhubarb - EP, Aphex Twin
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