The majority of you will read this and needn’t go any further. There’s nothing new here i’m afraid. No secret bootlegs or tribute mix. The only news is that one of the best (if not the best) ambient electronica albums to be made has been repressed and now available to buy again (I snapped mine up from the brilliant Norman Records). So, if you’re feeling a little nostalgic and have been lacking in the Aphex ambient love department recently, read on!
Listening back to this record on a turntable, with subtle and very pleasing vinyl crackles as opposed to slick MP3s, reminded me just how great this album is (yes I finally made the decision to remove the plastic wrapper from the LP). And, if for some reason, someone was to stumble across this post not having listened to this album before, then, well i’ll be damn pleased I made the effort to put this together, because you (if that is you) will be just as pleased you started reading and listening.
And, if like me you listen to this release like a christian reads a bible, then let this be another excuse to listen to the work of a genius. I could talk about every track on the album but in the interest of not over-aphexing, here’s five tracks either from, or associated with the album.
1. Rhubarb - one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard. Not to forget some amazing remixes of it too.
2. Stone In Focus – this track was only available on the vinyl and cassette versions so is likely to be one of the lesser known on the album, so just in case you haven’t heard it… here it is.
3. Fourtet remix of ‘Cliffs’ – Released in 1999 – a perfect example of why Mr Hebden is so talented, even when producing in his teens. This is by no means better than the original (and I would include the original), but I wanted to feature this remix as it’s not that well publicised.
4. Blue Calx – my second favourite track on the album, and the first track to successfully use a ticking clock/metronome sound which hasn’t sent me insane, followed by none other than Global Communication’s 14:31.
5. Z-twig. An amazing example of how a repetitive melody, in a short space of time, can be so utterly beautiful, and one of the shortest tracks on the album which I wish went on forever.