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Album Review

Despite threatening retirement several times, in 2001 Richard D. James finally released another Aphex Twin record. But for all this record tells listeners, he may still be in retirement. Spreading 30 tracks (most with unpronounceable titles) across two discs, Drukqs sounds less like a major new statement from electronica's best producer than the results of a Sunday afternoon's trawl through his hard drive for files he hasn't released before. Many songs here evoke the feel of recordings long since past, from the quiet ambient techno of his breakthrough, Selected Ambient Works 85-92, to the demonically extroverted programming of Richard D. James Album and the Come to Daddy EP. Stylistically, the record leans toward the later recordings, with many tracks here reprising the off-key melodies and overloaded drum programming of "Come to Daddy" or "Windowlicker." There's also little rhyme or reason to the program; James veers directly from a drill'n'bass firestorm ("Cock/Ver 10") to a delicate piano piece à la Erik Satie ("Avril 14th") to an acid-techno burner ("Mt. Saint Michel Mix") with barely a glance backward for transition. Of course, aside from all the criticism, the previously unreleased musings of Aphex Twin are still far more intriguing and solid than most producers' best releases. The opener, "Jynweythek Ylow," and "Ruglen Holon" are brilliant, inscrutable pieces reminiscent of a rusty, bygone music box or the gamelan music of Indonesia. And a few of the second-disc highlights, "Meltphace 6" and "Taking Control," chart a middle ground between the emotional ambience of early Aphex Twin and the wracked hysteria of his later work. Drukqs is a sprawling album that defies listeners to understand or enjoy it as a whole, and would've worked much better as a fan-only release than the long-awaited return of the techno vanguard's favorite producer.

Customer Reviews


the man is a genius. to me this album is at the edge of contemporay musis. wher John Cahe meet Aphex Twin is the medium we should all allow ourselves the indulgence, to feast upon this mighty concoction of Art

Who has not heard?!

Who has not heard of Aphex Twin? I'm surprised to hear that 9 out of 10 people i have asked that question of, have said "is that some weird death metal band like?" WHAT! Maybe i just know alot of unenlightened people or maybe they couldn't handle a truely brilliant artist that has managed to bridge the the gap between popular (I really mean dance and drum and bass although it pains me to place Richard D James in these genres) and classic instrumental music, almost with out flaw. The first two songs on this doule disc album are testament to this, with jynweythek ylow's blissful melodie on harpsicord blending seamlessly into the fast unflinching drum beat of Vordhosbn, and then doing it all over again with such reckless abandon that you'll wonder when it will stop and that this album ends is the greatest flaw that it has. anyone with half a brain and an open mind should stop thinking about whether they should buy and just do it, and i promise, you will not be disappointed in the slightest.


Only recently have i come across Aphex Twin, and i am utterly gobsmacked. The brilliant melodic tuning of Jynweythek and Vordhosbn somehow manage to link perfectly with the songs like C**K/ver 10. I've tried showing my friends and have come to find it's really a love/hate knd of album, Most have found one or two songs they like but only 2 have enjoyed this as much as i maybe because were all 17 but i think that factor is irrelevant. For any people who have a taste for great music and enjoy a great variety of ambience and drum nd bass alng with any other genres, this is the album for you! Plus i'd reccomend checking out some of the videos to this album, they are just as beautiful!


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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