Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Aphex Twin - Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Pt2 (Warp Records)

I wasn't too impressed with Syro, a fact that Richard James (Aphex Twin...like you didn't know) was quite upset about, I'm sure. This, though, I do like and my approval will go some way towards letting him down regarding my response to the last effort. It's not easy being a much-respected music critic, so they tell me. The responsibility of assessing a piece of work, knowing that many readers take what is said very seriously and may even be put off buying an album because of what's written. I hear people can actually listen to albums, or segments, before buying, but I can't believe such amazing technology exists. If it does, perhaps the job of the music critic is in danger. That would be awful.

"So what's it like?" You wonder. Well, my first thoughts were 'Aphex Twin channels Can via a prepared piano in the mode of Mr John Cage before adding some funky (breakbeat-type) drumming - hurrah!'. Then I thought 'Hold on, I'll check my John Cage prepared piano CD to make sure I'm right', so I did, and I was. Then I considered listening to so 'funky' Can tune, but didn't. Diskprept4 is very Cage..ian (?). Not to be confused with Cajun music. Although there is a track called disk prep calrec2 barn dance [slo] and I think there must have been some Cajun dances in a barn. Not that they'd be able to dance to this, it's too slow, but plucking the depths as it does, I find it most rewarding. Diskprept1 features a double bass, I think, but one never knows, the way these modern musicians manipulate sound. Either way, it's one of the very good spacious acoustic moods, barely sounding computer-controlled at all. On Snar2, all 19secs of it, he revs up a drum until it sounds like, um, a motorbike...being revved up - wonderful! Those expecting electronic complexities might be disappointed with the relatively limited palette here, but that's what I like about it.

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