Well we'll be blowed. The threats have actually finally come true. Aphex Twin's first proper new studio album for Warp since the divisive confused bulk of 2001's 'Drukqs' is due towards the end of September 2014. The artwork is quasi-cryptic and minimal as you can see. What the material will sound like is the stuff of many an "IDM" fanboy/girl's social networking dreams. What we do know is that this is the most exciting news in electronic music we've heard since the deluge of Analord material for his own Rephlex that seems like many, many moons ago. Yes, he could have written it on his laptop in the bog last month or yes, it could be archive stuff more than a decade old. Will there be a "Windowlicker" on there? Whatever, we can surmise all we like but this is literally amazing news for his countless fanatical devotees around the globe and is bound to hold some surprises.
7 reviews. Add your own review.
Well to say this has been on the cards for a wee while is an understatement. Landing right bang on the knife edge of the most bizarre time in British politics anybody alive today has ever seen comes Aphex Twin's official follow up to the divisive, sprawling Drukqs. I personally don't like that previous mess of an album all that much. It was a prime example of flawed genius = misguided excess to my ears but enough rabid net geeks have already said their tuppence worth on that to last a lifetime. Or at least the time its taken 'Syro' to emerge. Two of my friends this week have already proffered vastly differing opinions on just how amazing or merely plain average this is. I'm sat here smiling rather than frowning so something worthwhile is shitting in my ears this morning.
You know those reviews that go on and on and never seem to end; your eyes start swimming tetchily around before suddenly flipping back into your skull so you then find yourself stapling your eyelids to your forehead but to no avail because you then, in a comatose fit, smash your head into your monitor/arsepad/twatphone? This isn't one of them. Graphic design. Yadda yadda check it man. The circular tech chart/grid thing is simply taking the pish in the finest style known to man. The designer's republic. Yo. Hats off.
The music. It's great. This is the sound of RDJ getting back into a lazy, hazy groove and idly tapping his feet, growing his beard, scratching his arse and yawning happily. There's his trademark gurgles, those evocative waves of morphing synths, the gently stumbling itchy beat patterns and his overall inimitable palette of wonderful warm glitchy sounds. You just know when it's an AFX record innit. After the mind-fuck of 'Drukqs', indulging in 'Syro' often delivers mellow, funky daft pleasure rather than being some irritable ADD grimace fest. I've even got used to the comedy vocals on the beautifully crackers 'Minipops' now. They're proper fun! He once proclaimed one of his only regrets was passing on signing Boards of Canada to Rephlex - their influence gently shows in the more laconic pace and star-kissed rhythms of some tracks here such as Produk 29 , Luke Vibert is also definitely a safe comparison. Yet this album is absolutely its own beast, just like its beloved mad scientist creator.
When it's not being all friendly, shaggy and flopping all over your mind-sofa like a slobbering aural Afghan hound then it's '180db_  ' This one starts with a thudding 4/4 kick drum only to be splattered with discordant descending downer acid synths, the techno thuggery giving way to one of those amazing Rushup Edge-style breakbeats. Then these horrifying glassy tendrils of synth cut through, screaming into your brain. Whilst the bastard dying wasp drones moan the fuuuuuuuuck on. I think he's been listening to his old Lory D records. Many of his releases appear to have a "nightmare track" This is it......what a terrible cad!
I promised I wouldn't go on and on. So I won't. Oh no I won't. You don't want to read this anyway - it's fanboy bullshit. Buy the album you divs! It gets proper kicking towards the centre and beyond too. Like quite hyper and a little mad and slightly discombobulated without dropping the rinsing AFX acid-funk. Such is the way with all his best releases, there's a wee spot of carefree filler I suppose. But it's all in context! I hear moments that sound like he's just titting about, then suddenly the drum machines will kick in and it fires off all elastic, squelchy and deliciously propulsive and you're locked in total RDJ heaven. That's 'CIRCLONT14....' for you. One of the strongest pieces he's produced for a while surely? 'Papata ' is a brilliant D'n'B-flecked track brandishing daft Ghost Box bloop-keys and plenty of delirious mangled joy. This is followed by an even fiercer (preposterously titled) jungle piece that is the closest he's come to Vibert's Amen Andrews project, in a fashion. Fuck me, I've gone on and on. Sorry. This album is way too exciting! Oh, you want an elegiac piano piece with some twittering birds on it do you? Awww go on then. It's your lucky day.
Warren, you are right. This IS the connoisseurs choice. Andy you are wrong. Go stand in the corner.
8/10 Mark T. Customer review, 4th December 2014
what to say!
welcome back Aphex Twin!!! we have been miss you
this new album has awesome moments with landscapes whom give to you beautiful moments to expand your mind
summarizing, sounds, beautiful production and a great sound structures
hope that he also come back to stage and gives us great gigs
9/10 xyz Customer review, 29th October 2014
The more I listen to Syro the more I like it.
Sensationally impressive, beautifully arranged, strategically announced, James’ latest effort is what the older fans as me needed and were waiting for. Buzzing and striking, the new release under RDJ’s main alias displays a magnetic sound and nothing can deprive it of its freshness. And if on the one hand the album could appear as a sign of lack of innovation, on the other it represents the extension of the producer’s trademark sound. In spite of what the music industry demands, I think it’s still interesting to recover the 90s classic electro and techno tradition and such a towering figure as James gives still an important contribute to the history of the contemporary music. That’s the reason Syro doesn’t sound dated or artificial to me.
Listening to the tracks carefully, so many details emerge and they could be essential for developing other decent works. In Aphex Twin’s music , the heterogeneous is united and, through the sudden transitions from one genre to another, the artist finds his equilibrium and states his identity. RDJ likes exploring the powerful connections between funk and techno, jazz and jungle. Moreover, an ingenious network of echoes builds a complex system of sound as in the structure of the tracks and the balance of melodies. Each piece has a world of its own but nothing is intentionally out of its place : 'XMAS_EVET10 (thanaton3 mix)' and '4 bit 9d api+e+6' are moments of pure and unequaled perfection,'produk 29' and 'syro u473t8+e (piezoluminescence mix)' lead us to an outer space; ‘minipops 67 (source field mix)’ and ‘aisatsana’ will be without doubt two of the greatest tracks of all time.Lastly, having in mind James’ irony , his exceptional use of melody, his inimitable aesthetic, I would invite all the younger fans to enter the wonderful world of Syro.
Surely one of the best albums of the year.
4/10 Dan Customer review, 26th September 2014
I just find this really boring. Yes, if you like 'Windowlicker' etc. you'll like this, which is fine. But fine isn't good enough after all this time. I cancelled my pre-order after listening to the album and I'm glad I did. I was keen to hear how Richard's music had been influenced by the last decade-plus of music - that's what made it exciting...but basically it hasn't to my ears. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds dated and predictable. Massive disappointment. Buy something on Diagonal or Hyperdub instead.
9/10 Liam Customer review, 24th September 2014
13 years in the making is it any Good?, simple answer is Yes it is its fucking awesome!. I've been a long time fan since didgeridoo and brought almost everything along the way and I have to say syro is probably the most accessible album the aphex has put out to date. The first thing I noticed on the first play through was how easy on the ear it was compared to other recordings, usually I'm waiting to get smacked in the face by an APHEX recording but this one is different it's quite polite for the APHEX. But don't get me wrong it takes nothing away from the music it is to me his best since his first selected ambient works 85-92, lets just hope there is more to come!. So if you want the best electronic album of the year then this quite simply is it. Buy it then set the volume to eleven! Enjoy!
9/10 Bunny Rabbit Customer review, 19th September 2014
Right from the start. Digeridoo. "How perfectly splendid that is" said John Peel and we agreed. The legend was born and with it the hyperbole. "Genius" "Mozart". The lies, the exaggeration, the half truths the endless banging on about his tank and the bank and all that wank. He made his own synths or modified them or something about a 303 in matchbox. He lucid dreams his melodies man! Ambient works and industro garbage beats. Rephlex and Warp and surprise after delight after psuedonym after moniker after remix, that wasn't, after rarity after cash-in. He's doing it all on a laptop now. He's written his own programs. Dancing giant teddy bears and mates with Philip Glass. MTV, America, Windowlicker! Prepared piano?! Come on you cunts lets have some Aphex Acid! Leather bound, fur-lined 100% analogue acid on disc after disc. No more computers. It's not me honest. Prick! He's got a GX1! Swinging piano.
2014 - Can we hear that Caustic Window LP if the Minecraft dude pays for it Rich? Yeah (sniff) you can. I'm touched. Do want my music, then? That's good. The album's with Warp already.
Richard James comes clean. Here's the list of all the equipment I used. Here's the thing with about the ex-wife and my kids going to school in a tiny village. Here's all the rooms I use at home and meet my neighbours. Here I am. I'm back. You can hear my music if you want, I suppose. Why not? This ones for the fans. No messing about. Well, just a bit. If you've got £250 and a lucky ticket you can get a special edition with a track embossed into the artwork. You can't really hear it but it's there. Just out of reach.
This is the sound of an unlimited budget for synths and outboard and whatnot. The Tuss continued... (Do keep up!) The sounds assassin. King, no, lord of the synths. Road tested tracks. YouTube uploaded live recordings approved by the fans now brought to them on vinyl and CD. What? Metz? Really? Okay!! Tabla?
Funk. Yeah, funk. Think break funk. Amen jungle funk acid rave business. Well just a bit, anyway. The voices of his family and who knows who saying who knows what. An "intensely personal album" apparently. We're certainly up closer than we've been for a while if not ever in fact.
I like it. It's quite good. It's what I've been hoping for and sort of fearing. There's more coming though. The experimental stuff on EPs. Yeah, no this isn't the weird stuff. That's coming later. Soon. This is what you want. This is the what you needed. Tunes, modular acid, expensive synths ('I haven't got that many') and beats. Those beats. And that swinging piano. Stilled in his Scottish retreat. Yes. Better together. Birds in the background. Sustain pedal. Cheers Rich. Lush.
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