Sep 2015 24


Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-08

Format: EP
Label: Warp Records
Release date: August 21, 2015

Doctor Image

I never ever thought I would use this analogy for Aphex Twin (AFX in this guise) – but he has become a little like London buses; you wait around for ages for one, and then three come at the same time. I am referring of course to the incredible output that has appeared since “Syro” last year. Since then there have been Grammys, huge Soundcloud dumps and music played entirely by machines, amongst other things – it seems there has never been a better time to be an Aphex Twin fan than now.

This release is still a bit special though, as it is the first AFX material since the classic Analord series almost ten years ago. For some, this alias has special significance too, as it is of course the name under which the seminal “Analogue Bubblebath” was first introduced.

“Serge Fenix Rendered 2” starts things off, and reminds me, in some crazy way, of the type of energy found on Giorgio Moroder’s classic “I Feel Love”. Of course, being Richard D. James at the controls though, it also sounds like an orchestra of robots clapping along and talking to each other in a thunderstorm too. “DMX Acid Test”, possibly a nod to fellow electronic musician DMX Krew, is over before it really begins, with “Oberheim Blacet 1B” picking up the baton and taking it into more interesting areas, with plenty of acid bleeps and punchy rhythmic sounds.

“Bonus EMT Beats” is just that, but I love it for it – just hard beats, pounding rhythms, jittery acid hi-hats and a whole lot of talent – one of the most revealing AFX tracks I have heard, highlighting his skill and imagination across just a few sounds. “MIDI Pipe1C S D S 3Time Cube/ Klondrm” is very unusual indeed, and seems odd even for AFX’s usual taste. It sounds like he has made little mini robot crickets and set them off in battle against each other. Far-fetched? Well, you listen and see what you think…

“Neotekt72” is a little slower, and reminds me more of the conventional Aphex Twin tracks, a la “Drukqs”- it could even have been an outtake in my opinion. “R&M Neotek Beat” finishes things off in slightly softer surroundings, with lovely shuffling brushed snares and distorted conga sounds.

Overall a typically mixed bag of greatness and craziness (sometimes both). The fact that we are listening to tracks from 2006-08 and still they sound cutting-edge fresh tells you a lot about how far we are behind this Cornish wizard though. To go back to my bus analogy, expect new material, when it arrives, to turn up like the mutant steampunk train from “Back to the Future 3″…