Aphex Twin

Richard D. James Album

Nov 1996

The artist got his name from a maker of audio signal processors

Abstract, Intelligent Dance, Experimental, Ambient and Jungle

Aphex Twin used his real name for an album that reflected the sound of the age and the way he felt about it.

Composed mostly on a Mac – James moved away from pure electronica into a more hard-hitting soundscape – ambient meets jungle by way of child-like voices and chunky chords that feel warm and fuzzy. Richard D. James is doused in beats while something musically interesting goes on in the background.

4 sets the stage – an almost classical violin-note arches over a rapid drum pattern while the melody swirls and lingers like a couple walking on a beach. Cornish Acid is muscular and chunky while Peek 82454201’s metallic beats are intense. Things take a light-hearted turn with the deceptively pretty Fingerbib – where warbling keyboards swoop and swim. Carn Marth returns to those jungle dream patterns but this time with wild keyboard flutters that keep you on your toes.

To Cure A Weakling Child features James’ voice sampled to sound like the child in the title – whilst deeply sinister rhythms threaten – it’s both unnerving and brilliant. At a piffling two and one minutes - Goon Gumpas and the admittedly infectious Yellow Caix feel like dancing bears between the main acts.

It ends on the Jew’s harp boing of Logan Rock Witch sounding like the theme music to an outback movie where someone’s going to have a bad day.

Richard D. James Album is an intense album that captures the sound of electronica at a critical phase, not pretty but surprisingly addictive.