Friday, September 5, 2014
"minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]"- Aphex Twin
A major mistake I made when listening to "minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]," British producer Richard D. James' first new work as Aphex Twin in 13 years, was assuming the stirring vocals that end the song were lifted from some "ancient" source. They're so frail and wobbly that I just imagined James clearing them off a hard-drive labelled "Samples" from the year 2000.
It's the only thing though from "minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix] that feels "dated." The layers of fluttering drum machines, watery synthesizers and stray noises are remarkably of the moment; recalling Aphex Twin disciples like shadowy post dubstep artist Burial and experimental hip hop producer Flying Lotus. James' aforementioned sighing at the song's end could be confused for a new Radiohead effort. Aphex Twin's been dormant since the maligned Drukqs in 2001, but James has clearly been paying attention to his imitators.
So much so that it sounds like he's read ahead of the class. As much as "minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix] is of 2014, it’s simultaneously out of time. Individual ripples of synth keys are soundtracking a sci-fi flick that won't be made for another 10 years. The robotic heaves throughout the track are alien to my ears. There's no Rosetta Stone to decode the language of James' vocal manipulations. Aphex Twin is unquestionably back and already out in front of the field.
Aphex Twin's new album Syro is out Sept. 23 through Warp Records. You can find James' mangled bio accompanying the new release here and view the tracklist below.
1. "minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]"
2. "XMAS_EveT10 (thanaton3 mix)"
3. "produk 29"
4. "4 bit 9d api+e+6"
6. "CIRCLONT6A (syrobonkus mix)"
7. "fz pseudotimestrech+e+3"
8. "CIRCLONT14 (shrymoming mix)"
9. "syro u473t8+e (piezoluminescence mix)"
10. "PAPAT4 (pineal mix)"
11. "s950tx16wasr10 (earth portal mix)"