Wednesday, December 24, 2008

[Music Recommendation] Aphex Twin - Richard D. James Album (1996)

Sadly as someone who was born in 1989, I cannot claim to be someone who grew up with the birth of modern electronic music in the 90's. Those who did, well let me just say I am extremely envious and jealous. Listening to Richard's music as it was released and as it shaped the industry, must have been quite the experience. He certainly completely reshaped my outlook of music when I got around to listening to him.

Before Aphex Twin, I was strictly a man of the 60's and 70's. Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Velvet Underground... these were the kinds of artists/bands I was into and obsessed with. Electronic music back then for me, meant soulless techno trash that served no purpose other then maybe bumping the bass in the back of the car.

However, in the spring of 2006, something caught my eye at my local Barnes & Noble (lol). It was the album art for Aphex Twin's Richard D. James Album. "This face seems familiar," I thought... and the name Aphex Twin was also something I had heard mentioned more then a few times. "But what is with this insane artwork...?" I kept thinking to myself. "Do I really want to walk over to the check-out and hand this thing to the clerk? What kind of person will she think I am!?" The thought of purchasing something which in appearance looked so menacing and disturbing, seemed like the wrong idea, plus a waste of money. But as I kept browsing around looking for something else to buy, I couldn't stop myself from going back to examine it. My friend finally encouraged me it was time to leave, and I made the gut decision to buy it.

Just like the album art, Aphex Twin's Richard D. James Album, is disturbing and unsettling in its first listens. The absolutely insane beat patterns are at times so discomforting that its hard not to want to skip to the next track or all together just throw away the disc. But something about it... made me continue to come back for more. Its somewhat hard to explain, but this album is something you have to work at to enjoy. You have to invest your time into understanding it to come to appreciate it.

Most of all though you have to let your mind go. That is what the album art is depicting in my opinion. Its not that Aphex Twin is this really creepy guy, its that on a subconscious level there is so much more to discover inside the mind. An album with little to no vocals/lyrics has never hit me on a more personal level then this one... because it becomes what you make of it. Just as it is Richard D. Jame's album, it is your album. It is an album that lets you play with insanity.

1 4 (3:37)
2 Cornish Acid (2:14)
3 Peek 824545201 (3:05)
4 Fingerbib (3:48)
5 Carn Marth (2:33)
6 To Cure A Weakling Child (4:03)
7 Goon Gumpas (2:02)
8 Yellow Calx (3:04)
9 Girl/Boy Song (4:52)
10 Logan Rock Witch (3:33)

Country: UK
Released: 04 Nov 1996
Genre: Electronic
Style: Techno, Drum n Bass, Acid

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