Posts Tagged ‘aphex twin’

INAUDIBLE’S BEST OF 2018

December 18, 2018

Hello everyone and welcome to the 10th edition of INAUDIBLE’s end of year to-do list!

For a limited time, check it out in stunning alphabetical order!

INAUDIBLE’s TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2018

1. Amen Dunes – Freedom (Sacred Bones)

I saw Amen Dunes live at Le Ritz in Montreal and the show made me love the album even more. It sounds like the sum of its numerous rock and roll influences, but Freedom, is still unassumingly a style all its own.

Such a great record! “Believe” is one of my favourite songs of the year.

2. Aphex Twin – Collapse EP (Warp Records)

It’s nice to know that even after 100 years, Richard D. James is still an innovator. These songs sound fresh and joyful, and mang oh mang, do they bump in dem headphones.

Check out the “Collapse” video here.

3. bblisss – Various Artists (bblisss records)

Although technically not a 2018 release, this gem was released as a cassette in 2016, and finally pressed to vinyl this year. This is the best ambient compilation I have heard in a long time.

It features gorgeous tracks from Pendant (aka Huerco S.), DJ Paradise (aka uon), and Naemi. It easily rivals the very finest of Kompakt’s long-running Pop Ambient series. This album will be on rotation for years to come.

4. Benoit Pioulard – Slow Spark, Soft Spoke (Dauw Records)

Again, not a 2018 release (it came out in ’17), however, this was the album I played at the hospital while my girlfriend was in labour. It will be forever connected with the birth of my daughter Sylvia, and that absolutely incredible and surreal night (and day! and year!).

Slow Spark is calming and drony and beautiful. Pioulard seems to be able to make lo-fi ambient music with ease and grace, as he also released the equally as chill, Lignin Poise in 2017 too.

5. bvdub – Drowning in Daylight (Apollo Records)

This album is Brock Van Wey‘s 31st full-length! He is beyond prolific. I can’t say I’ve listened to even 1/3 of his output, but Drowining in Daylight has been on consistent rotation since it was released in September. The addition of beats to his ambient soundscapes brings his music to a whole new level.

6. The Internet – Hive Mind (Columbia Records)

Even after a Grammy win, I still think they have one of the worst band names around. Nevertheless, Syd and her crew have re-purposed funk and R&B slow-jams for the kids. I saw them play live at Metropolis in December and the band brought it — Syd smiling and hamming it up for the crowd, and Steve and Patrick were tight as hell on guitar and bass. Really fun show and a great album with some next level low-end bass lines.

Check out da funk right here.

7. The Sea and Cake – Any Day (Thrill Jockey Records)

As I said earlier with AFX, it’s amazing that after 100 years, The Sea and Cake are still releasing consistently fine records. Yes, you definitely know what you’re gonna get with a Sea and Cake record, but it’s surprising how enjoyable their albums always seem (at least to me).

They’ve been one of my fave bands for close to 75 years, so I’m able to just slip into their familiar sound instantaneously. Still, I’d argue that Any Day is their strongest album in a cool decade.

8. Shinichi Atobe – Heat (DDS Records)

Cult legend, Shinichi Atobe does indeed bring the mafuckin’ heat with this collection of stripped down, bare-bones techno. Like Omar S, Atobe serves his techno straight-up, no fuckery, and builds his songs from the bottom up until they are bursting with subtle grooves. This is my fave record to date from this mysterious producer. More hand claps please!

Listen: “So Good So Right 2

9. Skee Mask – Compro (Ilian Tape)

The music nerds are calling this one a future classic, and I think they are absolutely right. Compro’s sound is already timeless and it’s real easy to get swept into its world of beats, glitches, grooves, and low-end bass.

Listen: “50 Euro to Break Boost

10. Yves Tumor – Safe In The Hands Of Love (Warp Records)

No album felt as thrilling upon first few listens, than Yves Tumor’s Safe In The Hands Of Love. I called it emo-thrash-tronica at one point, and think it’s fitting.

It’s punk rock in a world where rock and roll is long dead. It can be gentle and moving at one moment, and then chaotic and challenging the next. “Licking an Orchid” and “Lifetime” are two incredible songs that grow with each listen, and the entire record is chock full of earworms and an (un)healthy wall of fuzzzz.

HONOURABLE AUDIBLES (click album titles to sample a track)

Freddie GibbsFreddie (ESGN Records)
Theory of MovementTheory of Movement (Duke’s)
Anthony NaplesTake Me With You (ANS Records)
LoidisA Parade, In the Place I Sit… (anno Records)
Steve HauschildtDissolvi (Ghostly International)
Galcher Lustwerk200% (Lustwerk Music)

Quick and to the point. Happy 2019 tout le monde! Cheers, ml.

APHEX TWIN – Surfing on Soundclouds

February 12, 2015

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It was a quiet decade for Richard D. James in the years leading up to the release of SYRO, his first real album under the Aphex Twin moniker since 2001. Sure, there was some awesome Analord records and releases as The Tuss, but nothing as formative and influential and moving as his earlier work on Warp Records.

And by then a whole legion of biters and imitators, armed with synths and tech and gear were all trying to make music that sounded just like his (or his labelmates Boards of Canada). There was a complete oversaturation of what was then called IDM or leftfield electronica, so much so that I can see why James might have decided it best to just sit back and let his earlier releases do the talking for him, because records like Selected Ambient Works vol. 2, and I Care Because You Do, and The Richard D. James Album mark a moment in time and sound, a moment in musical history, and for that reason alone they will never sound flat or feel dated.

James was the harbinger of lush analogue sounds and swirls and bleeps and bloops and beats and bass. And so, as his “sound” became ubiquitous in the electronic world in the early 2000’s, it became easy to forget the music that inspired this new generation of musicians.

Then, finally, as if rewarding us on our good behaviour over his decade-long silence he dropped SYRO, a frantic, gorgeously produced album of all that Aphex Twin does right. And I love it, I really do, but a part of me was always like, “Yeah it’s fuckin’ good and stuff, and it sounds unbelievable in headphones, but I can’t help but feel a little let down for some reason … I don’t know what I was hoping for or expecting, I just wanted more.”

Flash forward to the first weeks of 2015: And he releases Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 EP, an experimental and very different collection of tracks from SYRO, yet oddly alluring and enjoyable, because let’s face it, it’s more new music from Aphex Twin!

But now we’re getting to the good part, guys…

On January 27th, 2015 (my birthday), a mysterious user on Soundcloud begins uploading pretty much a song an hour, and doesn’t stop until there’s a 110 tracks on the site. By then, the interwebs had literally exploded with theories and comments and ideas (see: WATMM), yet the general consensus was that if this music was fake Aphex Twin then we would rather not hear what real is, because it was so goddamn fucking good!

The music he dumped on Soundcloud (now being called “Surfing on Soundclouds”), is like listening to all of James’ earlier masterpieces, but in an alternate reality or Bizzaro world. It is just unbelievable that music of this caliber has remained dormant and forgotten on old cassettes and DAT’s and broken hard-drives for decades.

Spanning 30 odd years, the collection (now at 155 songs in total) is already the best music released in 2015, and arguably the finest music of James’ career. It is moving and nostalgic and sweeping and gorgeous and merciless. It is Aphex Twin.

Thank you and thank you again, sir! Because this is a real treat. Check it!