Sunday, September 20, 2009
Musing over Fact Magazine's -The Essential... Aphex Twin
In my musical development, Aphex Twin came at just the right moment. It all began when I tried to impress this girl in college by buying "Dig your own hole" by the Chemical Brothers and "Traveling Without Moving" by Jamiroquai... Listening to those CDs' and hoping this will get me an 'in' with this cutie, I unknowingly embarked on a musical journey that threw me from my daily diet of old school Hip Hop and Latino music to pretty much EVERYTHING imaginable. From Fela to John Cage, my musical pallate grew 30 fold and now my brain is inundated with too much noise to make much sense of it.
Aphex (along with Squarepusher) presented the greatest challenge of musical appreciation during my 'discovery' phase, as he went EVERYWHERE... producing ambient techno, to... well... ambient. Homeboy threw every possible notion and understanding of music out the window. Entire CD's of just noise, chop ups, clips, loops, sqeaks, strings, pads, industrial sounds, freaky soundbytes, and all that in between... Controlled by songs of pure happiness, fear, to the most annoying of modes. During this time (1990's-early 2000's), the music seemed to be created in a weird Charlie and the Chocolate Factory lab, in which whole new machines were needed to make that stuff. My first musical productions were influenced by him, as i listened to his work for weeks at a time. I haven't seen anyone push music any further than this.
I would agree that Aphex is a genius, and that he may be the greatest electronic engineer/producer/musician ever. Since I haven't paid much attention to him lately, and his releases are pretty under the radar nowadays, I'm kinda happy that he is getting some press. Its funny, that much of the 'hot' music out now has benefited so much from his work. Yet, putting some of it side by side with "Richard D James" or "Selected Ambient Works vol1" would make no sense. But anyway, Fact's article can be found here... Meandering
PS.. as I listen to their choices, I must ask you to really look beyond the 'techno' vocab and look at the sounds and layers this dude is working with, absolutely gorgeous! (favorites "Alberto Balsam", and "Polynomial-C")