Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008
There were all were, just over a year ago – lost without Richard D. James and Aphex Twin and some of his other pseudonyms. And then that Caustic Window album was made available to the mainstream, a flurry of Soundcloud activity was captured across a slurry of accounts. And then the eventual “new album from Aphex Twin”; part of a triumphant return that also included a great wee EP and extended single and, well, so on…
And now here’s another thing, the AFX moniker – which may or may not mean something in its use here. You can never really know just how much James is fucking with you. But this 27-minute grab-bag is another compelling piece of the puzzle. Old sounds newly found, once again.
And we kick off with those evil, dark chords that nestle themselves beneath the hyper rhythmic play. His horror-movie soundscape ideas peek in and out around the beats. The track titles seem less confusing here, more straightforward (dmx acid test, simple slamming) but even as you enjoy the slippery snares and computer crash cymbal groove in three-minute bursts you aren’t exactly going to go announcing that your feelgood hit for this summer is something called oberheim blacet1b now are you?
No matter. It’s the Aphex/AFX world – and that means that a piece called “bonus beats” (actually bonus EMT beats) is not the slight whimsy it might suggest. Rather than being any sort of tag-on it’s one of the centrepieces of this EP/mini-album.
Energetic – but never too shrill, nor too drill’n’bass this is mostly the short, clipped beat framework that James draws so heavily from, until we get to the lovely, familiar waft of NEOTEKT72 (okay, I take back what I said about hose titles not being so weird) where the good groove stretches out over six minutes and we’re back in the land of, well, Syro, or for that matter last year’s wonderful 3-tracker, MARCHROMT30a Edit 2b 96.
Well, it’s best you listen. You know – in some sense – just what you’re going to get. And then in another you have no real clue until it’s happening. And that’s why we love him.
This deluge of vault-clearing (and new things too) has been pretty wonderful to grab on to. May it continue to rain; may he continue his reign…