The king of the bleeps descends from his Scottish castle to sell us a new piece of plastic music made by old synths, haggard robots, and your ringtone. Judging by the ludicrous, 50s-product-ad press release supplied by the good folks at Warp, you will be buying an actual synthesiser, but instead he'll probably encode the circuit diagrams into the vinyl grooves. Mysterious bastard. Will it be as good as his son's music, or do we have a new analord incoming? Who knows.
We also had some cassettes but now we don't.
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Aphex Twin, the notorious cheater himself, has successfully vintage-synthed the money out of your pockets. No, this LP does not have 15-note polyphony, and as we all already know, the D James man can make music on anything, no matter how badly respected or obscure. He’ll find a way. So it’s not really surprising that the god of music machines tackled a notoriously difficult-to-use old box (the Cheetah somethingorother) to make his sweet music for you.
But how sweet is it this time? Is it really amazing just because it’s Aphex Twin? Not a bloody chance. And this time, I’d say that it’s slightly lacking in character and, well, interest. I get it, the whole thing going on here is a form of minimal acid-tinged slow tech groove, and when I say slow, I really mean it. Have a listen to the second track ‘CHEETAHT7b’ if you can find it, I mean, that is a real graveyard beat. A bass line just about materialises, plodding along while the most interesting element of the tune, the weird semi-choirs, are pushed right to the back of the mix. Occasionally, some weirder sounds enter and babble for a bit but they also seem slightly half-arsed. Maybe I’m just hard to please, but I’ll bet there’s better stuff that he could have pressed from his soundcloud mega-archive.
Those two little 30 second things at the end of side A have definitely piqued my interest, segueing quite nicely onto the B side which is where things start to pick up a bit. Both Clint & myself were a little underwhelmed by ‘CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ]’ at first, but compared to the A side snoozers I’m a lot more enthusiastic. Maybe those ones were included to make this look better, you listening conspiracy theorists? It’s got a proper Selected Ambient Works I bass line, a beat that gets progressively funkier, and some syrupy chords during the climax. This is the good shit. I’m almost tempted to say the same about the following tune, but I’m still left yearning for more. I guess after being shown the brilliance of Syro and Computer Controlled.., you kinda expect it to keep going.
He doesn’t really specify 33 or 45 once again, so the slow ones are probably a voluntary 45rpm thing, after which they probs sound great, so the joke’s probably on me. Luckily, it’s not that much of a loss that this is mildly disappointing, cos we’ve already got all the AFX we could ever want; any new material is a bonus. It just would be nice if those bonuses were great, y’know?
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