Even though it doesn't break any particularly new ground, this huge album seems like a summing up of all Aphex Twin's work to date. So Drukqs of course has a fair smattering of that hyperactive spluttery electronica he's mainly associated with these days, and there's even a taste of the old days of hazy ambient fuzz. While he explodes out in some heavy techno occasionally, the album's own personality comes across in the shorter, quieter pieces. Treated piano solos, found-objects collages and short bursts of "oooh shiny, I've made a new sound" space out the flow of the album nicely. On the surface they might seem piss-easy to write and record, but the inventiveness of those short one-sound experiments is striking when listened to on headphones.
A selection of highlights include "Bbydhyonchord" for soft bleepery, "Mt Saint Michel" and "54 Cymru Beats" for some good old splutter-fests, the far-out Scary Noises experimentation on "Gwarek2" (think Pink Floyd's "Several Small Species..."), and the Messiaen-like piano meditation "Father". Sure, the album's far too long, but that doesn't stop you from ripping and mixing your own edits.
August 26, 2004