Aphex Twin – XMAS_EVET10[thanaton3 mix]
I’ve honestly been waiting for a new Aphex Twin album since my roommate introduced me to his music in 2009. If you’re unfamiliar with Aphex Twin aka Richard D. James, he’s an experimental electronic composer who has been active since the early 1990s. James’ music is famous for its dualism between ambient and erratic. His compositions often straddle a variety of genres and styles, ranging from the serene and foreign soundscapes of Selected Ambient Works Volume II (there is no volume 1) to the burst fire syncopation and bizarre sounds of Windowlicker.
James’ newest outing, Syro, caught me by surprise and took me a while to digest. Unlike his previous works, it doesn’t seem to fall on either end of the ambient/erratic spectrum, but rather somewhere in between. However, James’ biggest departure from his previous work with Syro is the way in which the music trends towards convention. This is not to say that Syro isn’t an otherworldly listen, but rather that it’s just more approachable than his previous works.
In shedding some of the experimental insanity that defined his earlier works, James creates a coherence unseen elsewhere in his repertoire. Almost, if not, all of the tracks on Syro have some recognizable melody or beat, something that cannot be said for any of his other albums. Even if the music is less mysterious than what I’d come to expect, I think that the change of pace is positive overall. Syro has a groove to it that stands separate from the rest of his discography and I’ve found that many of my friends prefer it to the often startling amalgamation of sounds that define his other works. I really enjoy Syro, but most of all I enjoy that it’s Aphex Twin I can share more easily.
– Zach L
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