in #electronic3 years ago

Aphex Twin - aka Richard David James - is one of the most influential electronic producers in the relative short history of the genre. This British musician - born in Limerick in 1971 - is seen as one of the pioneers of what is categorised as Intelligent Dance Music.

Discogs defines IDM as:

Intelligent Dance Music is a style in electronic music emerging in the early 90's and characterised by unusual, weird, distorted sounds, and drum lines consisting of very short bleeps and glitches. Originally applied to musicians like Future Sound Of London ; Orbital ; Aphex Twin ; Black Dog & B12 the term is now extended to a multitude of artists who produce downtempo, experimental electronic music while keeping the influence of their dance-floor origins, often produced on simple laptops using only sequencer software. The term IDM is now used almost exclusively in its acronym form, as the actual meaning came to be interpreted as implying that other styles of dance music are not intelligent.

Around Aphex Twin many myths were created. He would write his music at a stage of half-sleep ('lucid dreaming'). He could not sleep for three days in a row. He would have built his synthesizers themselves. He would have recorded many of his tracks on cassettes in his teens. There would still be thousands of tracks on those cassettes. From his first money earned with his music he bought a tank he drove through the streets of London. During DJ sets he used sandpaper and a kitchen mixers... Aphex Twin's entrance was accompanied by strong stories that contributed to his fast-paced myth formation. The myth, meanwhile, seems bigger than his music.

In the dance music in general and in Techno specifically, Aphex Twin was and still is a major source of inspiration to many of the producers out there. Earlier this year Aphex Twin self-released a new album "Aphex Mt. Fuji 2017", but that is not the one I share with you today :) I bring you back to where it all began, 1992, his first album "Selected Ambient Works 85-92".

  • Artist: Aphex Twin
  • Album: Selected Ambient Works 85-92
  • Style: IDM / Ambient / Experimental / Techno
  • Year: 1992

Press Play and Enjoy!

Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992)


Green Calx
We Are The Music Makers
Schottkey 7th Path

more Music

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RDJ, what a legend! It's about time i gave this one another listen!

Great selection @qsounds :D

I had a great time while writing this post yesterday evening and listening to the album since a ling time. He is just marvellous! More great selections to come, since I dont like mediocre music (although some of that is subjective) :)

I bet you did :)

A fine choice!

Nice profile qsound. I am a big fan of Aphex Twin. I have always found his music to be quite different than his contemporaries in the depth of complexity. An example of this is "Flim." On the surface the song sound quite simple - drums, piano, synth, and that's about it. But it is deceiving.

Harmonically the song has a beautiful chord progression. Simple, but ambiguous. It makes me think of music of Ravel (String quartet for example) where the progressions sound catchy at first, but after listening 10 times it means something different to the listener.

Rhythmically Flim is manic with the drums contrasting wildly with the other textures.

Production is DEEP and typical for Aphex Twin. There is so much going on with his choice of sounds then the treatment of each. This is my most important point in this response, qsound. Aphex Twin has such a comfort level with the tech that he can build a soundscape the same way a master violinist can produce the most subtle sound with the violin. This is why he is so different than other musicians in the genre. EVERY NOTE seems to be considered with no room for filler. I imagine that he thinkings of what he wants then instinctively make it happen using the complex rats nest of modual, digital, acoustic, psychokinetic-voodoo.

TRY THIS, play Flim and try to find a note, or sound, or treatment that you think you could remove to IMPROVE the piece. I doubt any of us could :) Beethoven's music is like this - no bad notes.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling. Thanks for posting and keep up the good work.

Following you and looking forward to more.


What a great response! I'm not a music producer so I'm not gone play around with taking out sounds :) Every heard of Ricardo Villalobos? I have the same feel with his productions, He uses modular system and a friend told me while he was in his studio, everywhere sounds coming out and Ricardo simple re-plugging some cables and at some point hit the record button and while continuing his cable arrangements, after an hour, track done. And them the difficult part, to get a cit out of ot to fit a vinyl record.

Thanks QS. No, I have not heard of Ricardo Villalobos, but I will certainly check it out. I have seen some musicians like Richardo in action and it is amazing. Cables everywhere and amazing music coming out of the speakers. I do some work in this field when I wear my musician hat :) and it all sounds consistently horrible :)

When I wrote the earlier post I pulled out my little analogue synth to make some Aphex Twin-like sounds. Here she is....

Photo on 2017-08-21 at 1.43 PM.jpg

GREAT little instrument and for $40 on EBay. Sweet deal to get someone into analogue synthesis.

Keep up the good work

How cool! :) You trying to get me into starting making music? Non of my friends could, I prefer supporting them when they play in a club or on a festival and when I can, to do some dancing :) NJOY playing with the little and share with us what you were able to create. Love to hear :)

Cheers my friend


Many thanks! Aphex Twin is one of those that will never bore you with its sounds.

The best genre name was "braindance" as coined by Richard and his drew... cuz that music definitely makes my brain dance!

Oh it does to me as well! So I;ll for sure remember this classification since that one is super! :)