We live in troubled times. There’s a threat within music that it’s being rapidly hollowed out by artists seeking commercial gain moreso than creating something of substance out of one’s love of music. Unfortunately, the music we hear on the radio becomes increasingly more saturated and devoid of any creativity as time goes by.
It’s at such low points in Hollywood blockbusters that we would call on our heroes. In the Batman series for example, the bat symbol would be beamed into the sky signalling for the hero to swoop in and save the day.
This Sunday just gone, a blimp was spotted around London sporting the above logo on one side and “2014” on the other. Symbols were being printed around New York with the same logo. I began going into meltdown the minute images started cropping online and was utterly intrigued; would it be new music? Re-releases? Live shows? Whilst a lot of questions emerged, one thing was a definite fact; Aphex Twin was returning and he was going old school, promoting stuff via messages in the sky.
I became enamoured with Aphex Twin a few years ago when I started to delve into the Warp Records back catalogue extensively. His compilation album “Selected Ambient Works 85-92” is still one of the more beautiful Electronic albums I’ve ever encountered. It takes the ambient soundscapes that a pioneer such as Brian Eno created and brings them into a more contemporary environment, creating thought provoking yet danceable music. I also enjoyed his completely menacing and relentless releases “I Care Because You Do” and “Richard D James Album” which really reinforced the IDM feel of his music.
It’s been 13 years since his last and most complex album “Drukqs” in which James recording hauntingly beautiful songs on incredibly hard to programme sequencers and sythesisers. Since that time, he’s DJ’d here and there and done the odd live show but there’s been no new album under the Aphex or AFX banner. Well, now he’s back with “SYRO” which features some truly excellent album artwork.
Anyway, for the unitiated or simply to whet the appetite in anticipation for the album due out on 23 September 2014, here’s some of my favourite Aphex Twin songs for your listening pleasure.