Drukqs

Drukqs

5.0 2
by Aphex Twin
     
 

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After disappearing into the British countryside for a few years, the eclectic electronica producer known as Aphex Twin (born Richard D. James) has returned. And boy, is he back -- Drukqs (pronounced "drugs"), Aphex's first full-length album since 1996, is a doozy. Clocking in at more than 110 minutes, the double-disc set is stuffed with 30 cuts of hyperkineticSee more details below

Overview

After disappearing into the British countryside for a few years, the eclectic electronica producer known as Aphex Twin (born Richard D. James) has returned. And boy, is he back -- Drukqs (pronounced "drugs"), Aphex's first full-length album since 1996, is a doozy. Clocking in at more than 110 minutes, the double-disc set is stuffed with 30 cuts of hyperkinetic beat-trickery, glowing ambient numbers, and plaintive piano instrumentals that recall the work of minimalist classical composer Erik Satie. Despite Aphex's long absence, Drukqs proves that the reclusive producer hasn't fallen behind contemporary trends. The aggressive drum-'n'-bass beats and noisy synth effects on tracks like "Avril 14th" reinforce James's title as a forefather to the current crop of "intelligent dance music" producers like Mouse on Mars. On "54 Cymru Beats," James fractures and splinters crystalline drum shards into a jagged slab of sonic sculpture that threatens to leap out of the speakers. But the quiet moments here are just as engaging. The ethereal "Gwely Mermans" is a wondrous piece of ambient music -- the misty four-four thump sounds like techno filtered through a dense London fog. Though it frequently flip-flops between calm and near-chaos, Drukqs is infused with wistful, childlike melodies and melancholy keyboard tickles that could make R2D2 weep. Aphex's binary creations are definitely driven by a human heart.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Despite threatening retirement several times, in 2001 Richard D. James finally released another Aphex Twin record. But for all this record tells listeners, he may still be in retirement. Spreading 30 tracks (most with unpronounceable titles) across two discs, Drukqs sounds less like a major new statement from electronica's best producer than the results of a Sunday afternoon's trawl through his hard drive for files he hasn't released before. Many songs here evoke the feel of recordings long since past, from the quiet ambient techno of his breakthrough, Selected Ambient Works 85-92, to the demonically extroverted programming of Richard D. James Album and the Come to Daddy EP. Stylistically, the record leans toward the later recordings, with many tracks here reprising the off-key melodies and overloaded drum programming of "Come to Daddy" or "Windowlicker." There's also little rhyme or reason to the program; James veers directly from a drill'n'bass firestorm ("Cock/Ver 10") to a delicate piano piece à la Erik Satie ("Avril 14th") to an acid-techno burner ("Mt. Saint Michel Mix") with barely a glance backward for transition. Of course, aside from all the criticism, the previously unreleased musings of Aphex Twin are still far more intriguing and solid than most producers' best releases. The opener, "Jynweythek Ylow," and "Ruglen Holon" are brilliant, inscrutable pieces reminiscent of a rusty, bygone music box or the gamelan music of Indonesia. And a few of the second-disc highlights, "Meltphace 6" and "Taking Control," chart a middle ground between the emotional ambience of early Aphex Twin and the wracked hysteria of his later work. Drukqs is a sprawling album that defies listeners to understand or enjoy it as a whole, and would've worked much better as a fan-only release than the long-awaited return of the techno vanguard's favorite producer.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/23/2001
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0643443117425
catalogNumber:
31174

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Jynweythek Ylow  -  Aphex Twin
  2. Vordhosbn  -  Aphex Twin
  3. Kladfvgbung Micshk  -  Aphex Twin
  4. Omgyjya Switch 7  -  Aphex Twin
  5. Strotha Tynhe  -  Aphex Twin
  6. Gwely Mernans  -  Aphex Twin
  7. Bbydhyonchord  -  Aphex Twin
  8. Cock/Ver 10  -  Aphex Twin
  9. Avril 14th  -  Aphex Twin
  10. Mt. Saint Michel Mix/St. Michaels Mount  -  Aphex Twin
  11. Gwarek 2  -  Aphex Twin
  12. Orban Eq Trx 4  -  Aphex Twin
  13. Aussois  -  Aphex Twin
  14. Hy a Scullyas Lyf a Dhagrow  -  Aphex Twin
  15. Kesson Daslef  -  Aphex Twin

Disc 2

  1. 54 Cymru Beats  -  Aphex Twin
  2. Btoum-Roumada  -  Aphex Twin
  3. Lornaderek  -  Aphex Twin
  4. Penty Harmonium  -  Aphex Twin
  5. Meltphace 6  -  Aphex Twin
  6. Bit 4  -  Aphex Twin
  7. Prep Gwarlek 3B  -  Aphex Twin
  8. Father  -  Aphex Twin
  9. Taking Control  -  Aphex Twin
  10. Petiatil Cx Htdui  -  Aphex Twin
  11. Ruglen Holon  -  Aphex Twin
  12. Afx237 V7  -  Aphex Twin
  13. Ziggomatic V17  -  Aphex Twin
  14. Beskhu3epnm  -  Aphex Twin
  15. Nanou 2  -  Aphex Twin

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