Another essential IDM album, another feather in the cap for Aphex Twin. His fourth full length as Aphex Twin finds the storied producer moving further away from the ambient of his earlier releases and diving head on into drum n bass territory. James' innate ability to combine emotive melodies with intricate drum programming is showcased on the Richard D. James Album, the apex of this being "To Cure A Weakling Child." "Goon Gumpas" provides the antidote for the heavy drum machine wizardry with its string figure leading the charge. The mid 90s seem to be an era when Aphex Twin could do no wrong. The techno bad boy led the charge of the IDM world, lived in a bank and even bought a tank. Many of the tracks on the Richard D. James Album were picked up by ad agencies and used in commercials. The US government even turned to Aphex Twin and used the 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." This being a true to form vinyl reissue of the original LP it is sadly lacking the chimerical "Milkman." But that should not dissuade you from picking this up. Crucial for the completest, an imperative for the collector. Recommended.
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 10/2012