Aphex Twin

Syro

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About this item

After announcing his return with a suitably outlandish PR blitzkreig involving a cryptic Deep Web post, a giant blimp over London and a clandestine listening event at Warp HQ, Richard David James returns with his first Aphex Twin album since 2001's "Drukqs". As is befitting of Cornwall's most willfully perverse musical genius, though expectations are sky high, no one has any idea what to expect from "Syro". Blissful ambience? Demented drum & bass? Uncompromising acid? Glitch-fuelled IDM? Funky mollusc? Well, this LP is a complex blend of all those things (except funky mollusc) held in perfect balance by the outrageous musicality and production wizardry of Aphex Twin. Album opener "Minipops 67" offers us a gentle reacquaintance as Aphex balances beefy breakbeats with glistening melodies, sensual sine waves and the skewed and vocodered vocals which return throughout the LP. "XMAS_EVET10" and "Produk 29" follow on in a similar vein, balancing melodic fragility with the slouching funk percussion and wriggling basslines. This tranquility doesn't last for long though, with James ratcheting up the tempo and the pressure through "4 Bit 9d Api+e+6", "CIRCLONT6A" and "Syro U473t8+e" delivering the kind of skitterish and acidic machine funk he unleashed on the best of the 'Analord' series. Lurking mischievously amongst thatt mid-album bunch is the deranged breaks of "180db_", a straight up floor mover indebted to "Funky Drummer" and "Energy Flash" equally. After a brief moment of calm via the restrained beauty of "Fz Pseudotimestretch+e+3" we get thrown right back in the deep end as Aphex drops more batshit breaks on "CIRCLONT14" before indulging in some brain scrambling junglism on "PAPAT4" and "S950tx16wasr10". So far so diverse, but what about the bliss and beauty of "SAW" I hear you ask? Well, RDJ saves the best for last, closing the LP out in sublime fashion with soothing piano of the Eno-meets-Satie "Asiatsana".

All things considered Aphex has delivered an album overflowing with an abundance of melody, tone and texture which combines the finest moments of "SAW", "Surfing On Sine Waves", "Analords" and "I Care Because You Do". It's been a long time, but the master is back.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: I need travel no further than the sleeve notes for this one to see the jaw-dropping list of hardware. Korg, Oberheim, a host of eurorack beauties, the list goes on, and whilst I could wax lyrical about the equipment used on Syro, it wouldn't matter a jot without the music to back it up. From the first song to the last, this is a towering achievement of ingenuity, melody and songwriting. Acidic breaks, pulsing bass, clicky snares, soaring synth melodies. This release has the lot, and an encyclopaedic gear-list to go with it. What else could you want.

TRACK LISTING

1. Minipops 67 [120.2][source Field Mix]
2. XMAS_EVET10 [120][thanaton3 Mix]
3. Produk 29 [101]
4. 4 Bit 9d Api+e+6 [126.26]
5. 180db_ [130]
6. CIRCLONT6A [141.98][syrobonkus Mix]
7. Fz Pseudotimestretch+e+3 [138.85]
8. CIRCLONT14 [152.97][shrymoming Mix]
9. Syro U473t8+e [141.98][piezoluminescence Mix]
10. PAPAT4 [155][pineal Mix]
11. S950tx16wasr10 [163.97][earth Portal Mix]
12. Aisatsana [102]

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