Aphex Twin – Collapse EP
On Collapse, Aphex Twin's genre-bending techniques once again prove that electronic can be beautiful, playful and tantalising, if you can bear to sit outside your comfort zone
Now that he’s nearly 30 years deep in the game – and one of the most influential and experimental electronic musicians on the planet – Aphex Twin, aka Richard D. James, has license to do pretty much anything he wants. So when the summer started with a buzz around the mysterious Aphex Twin logos that kept popping up around the world (in London, Tokyo, Turin, LA and New York), it was certain we were going to be in for an unexpected treat.
Then T69 Collapse dropped. Released as a single alongside a mind-bending virtual art video, the combination of the intense aural and visual stimulations were enough to provoke discomfort in most and in extreme cases, nausea. This might fill most with trepidation, but not James; how exciting when your music can provoke such strong reactions.
Collapse opens with the lead single and doesn’t let up for its entire runtime. What stands out about this EP is James’ tendency towards the playful as he creates sounds and rhythms for the hell of it, without really taking into consideration the comfort of the listener. 1st 44 hints at dub, then a hip-hop record scratch jolts you out of your techno trance; for MT1 t29r2 it’s the Gregorian chants and the nursery rhyme-like pause in the middle, and abundance10edit [2 R8's, FZ20m & a 909] feels almost filmic, soundtracking your journey towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
Aphex Twin's genre-bending techniques once again prove that electronic can be beautiful, playful and tantalising, if you can bear to sit outside your comfort zone.
Listen to: phtex, 1st 44, abundance10edit [2 R8's, FZ20m & a 909] (or the whole thing, it isn’t that long)