An indispensible artifact from an era when the Aphex Twin could do no wrong. In the mid 90s, Richard D. James led the charge of the IDM world, lived in a bank and even rolled around in a decommissioned army tank. His fourth full length as Aphex Twin finds the storied producer moving further away from the ambient techno of his earlier releases and diving headfirst into nasty drum n bass territory. James' innate ability to combine emotive melodies with intricate drum programming is on full display on the Richard D. James Album, the apex being the frenetic and sublime "To Cure A Weakling Child." The reflective, shimmering string arrangement of "Goon Gumpas" provides the antidote for all the heavy drum machine wizardry. Several tracks on the album were picked up by ad agencies and licensed for commercials; the US government even used album opener "4" in an anti-drug PSA! Through all of this he maintained his individuality and gained an infamous reputation with music journalists. You can hear some of that come through on a few of the more goofy tunes, such as album closer "Logan-Rock Witch." Being a true-to-form vinyl reissue of the original LP, this official Warp pressing sadly lacks the chimerical / hysterical CD-only cut "Milkman," but that should not dissuade you from picking it up... it's worth the price of admission for "Yellow Calx" alone. Recommended!
- 180g black vinyl pressing
- digital download included
- music label: Warp Records 2012
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 10/2012