One of the most uncanny records out there, Selected Ambient Works II is more genuinely ambient than its predecessor. With sparse synths and some kind of creepy magic, Aphex Twin crafts six sides-worth (yes, this is a triple LP release) of atmospheres that are at once calming, menacing, beautiful, and horrifying. Classic!
Vinyl Triple LP £53.99 IF11
US triple LP on 1972 Records.
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- Selected Ambient Works II by Aphex Twin
3/10 Hamish 26th June 2015
If you're looking for a review of the music on this album, see the one above. Absolutely on point. 10/10
The actual product is fucking shite, though. 1972 has a reputationin the AFX community for doing shoddy repressings of all the albums Mr James released on Warp (bar Drukqs) with lots of surface noise, thin vinyl and, in the case of the other repressed albums, ICBYD and Richard D. James Album, higher prices than the cheap, good quality Warp repressings. SAW2 does not have a repressing courtesy of Warp at the time of writing so we're stuck with this. This is an extremely bad pressing. First of all, the packaging is so cramped that two of my records were warped when I got them. Secondly, it doesn't include the beautiful Stone In Focus, which was exclusive to the original pressing, and was also the only reason I purchased this on vinyl rather than CD, nor does it include Hankie, which is a good track too. The vinyl also has a lot of surface noise and one of the records I recieved was pressed off-centre. (I returned it to the record store I bought it from.)
tl;dr Buy this album, but don't buy this version of this album.
10/10 Jack 17th January 2015
Few albums in existence are as beautiful or as haunting as this album is. Unlike S.A.W. 85-92, Vol. II is pure ambient. And just as with 'Drukqs', this album is an exercise in contrast. The most touchingly beautiful opuses you will probably ever hear are met with chilling dark ambient pieces. Each song presents its own atmosphere, and although this album is not as cohesive as it could be, it still makes for a wonderful whole. Creepy, unsettling, but oh so damn memorable. The finest dark droning ambient pieces ever!
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