When you consider the legends of electronic music, which artists come to mind?
Daft Punk, Frankie Knuckles, Giorgio Moroder and Carl Cox all should. However, due to (an extended) hiatus, Richard David James (aka Aphex Twin) is often one of the names left off this short list.
If you’ve never heard of Aphex Twin, that’s understandable. But you’re only going to wonder why you haven’t before after listening to his new album.
James was producing his own music from a computer by the time he was 12 years old (remember this was in the 1980s). By the time he was 13, he had over 100 hours of recorded music and had created his own music composition software. Plus, he’s released music that has influenced the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, and even Daft Punk.
Which makes you wonder…what have you done with your life today?
The last full length album James released under this pseudonym was in 2001. Drukqs was the last LP from Aphex Twin, along with an 11 EP project called Analord. And considering he hasn’t played a live show since 2012, it’s safe to say he’s been off the grid for a while.
Aphex Twin is the perfect balance between musical brilliance and technical genius.
However, his music isn’t for everyone. Talking to Pitchfork about SYRO, James says, “It can be quite impenetrable for most people, because you can’t latch on to something. It sounds quite random at first… But there is a method, people just have to take time to work it out.”
Keep an open mind going into this one. This isn’t raging music or even grooving music. This is listening music. SYRO is the kind of music you would put on at work when you try to zone out. It has the perfect balance between ambient tunes and elements that your ears have never experienced before.
At just over an hour in length, SYRO is the kind of album you really have to dedicate some time to. It may not be what you expect at all, and you may not be crazy about it, but this album will go down in the books.
(Photo courtesy of NestHQ)