Not sure that you need us to introduce this one to you. The album that broke Aphex Twin to the masses (relatively speaking), Selected Ambient Works 85-92 starts with two genuinely sublime pieces of music, ‘Xtal’ and ‘Tha’, which your collection literally cannot be without. The whole thing is great though, whether for solo listening late at night or for esoteric dancefloors. An absolute classic.
CD £11.99 AMB9322CD
Reissue CD on Apollo.
Vinyl Double LP £22.99 AMB3922LP
Official 2018 repress 2LP on Apollo. Uses the 2013 re-masters made from original DAT tapes, cut by Matt Colton and presented in original artwork.
9/10 Ross Holloway 23rd October 2018
Alongside Analogue Bubblebath 3 and Didgeridoo, Ambient Works pretty much cemented Aphex Twin's reputation. In fact I'd go as far to say that these 3 Aphex Twin records are his best, and nothing he has done since has been nearly so satisfying.
Ambient Works is arguably the first piece of electronica of the dance music age, and alongside KLF's Chill Out one of the first to revive the Brian Eno coined term 'ambient'.
Ambient Works doesn't however sound ambient in an Eno way at all. There are far too many beats and baselines for the start, and that's why you know this is electronic music of the dance music age. There is no sense of classicism or self consciously avante garde.
There are floaty sounds like Tangerine Dream and the Berlin school, but there is nothing cosmic going on here. Likewise there is little of Kraftwerk to be heard here.
Initially I partially dismissed this record as just being like something German and synthy, but my ears knew better and this is one of those records where I totally wore out the vinyl through repeated playing.
It was basically so damn new and fresh.
It's like he just took these tracks out of the air, they are so perfectly zeitgeisty. And they haven't got boring, they still sound great.
I suspect there was a huge amount of naivety about the way these were created, that ever since everyone told him he was a genius he has never been to recapture his early brilliance.
10/10 Gregor Omelasz 7th February 2017
What more can be said about this that hasn't already been said? Utterly essential listening. Buy it, or don't and risk being a dick in the process.
10/10 Jack 17th January 2015
Richard D James has a way with producing such bizarre sounds that never cease to boggle the mind, and his first LP is him at his smoothest. Standout 'Green Calx' blows my mind every time I hear it, while 'Ageispolis' has the perfect amount of reverb. Every track on here is such a weird assortment of strange noises that are so original and manage to resonate each and every time I hear them. Much more consistent but slightly less evocative than S.A.W. Vol. II, it's regarded by many as his best, and although I wouldn't feel completely confident saying the same, it is one of his best.
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin
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