just re-reading some of the news articles going around in 2010 when richard casually announced that he "has six albums already completed". everyone on the techno scene was hyped, and there were loads of threads about it in here.
if you were here in 2010, you'll remember just how exciting this was. we were all running around guessing what these albums could be, what they sounded like. and of course it was impossible to know - that was the magic of it.
well, here we are. how do we fare?
this material has surfaced in various places. first we had the Noyzelab Interview Tracks - released alongside richard's SYROBONKUS article in 2014 - which included a handful of modular tracks.
rich uploaded more of them to his Soundcloud page - highlighting them with a playlist which has since been listed on Discogs:
then, of course, we have the Mt. Fuji Tape from 2017
between these various sources, i'm confident that just about all the material from the first and second "already completed" albums has now been released.
sadly we have yet to hear this MfM remake. a lot of people were expecting a release of this album in 2016, when richard announced "a re-release of a very special album from twenty years ago" (does anyone have the exact quote?) but this was later revealed to be a reissue of "Mike & Rich" with seven new bonus tracks (eight if you ordered from Planet Mu).
to be fair, we DID get a release of another unreleased album - the Caustic Window LP, which for years held a similar legendary status and which, unlike Melodies from Mars, had never been circulated online and was completely unheard.
still, i'd love to know what a modern, Analord/Tuss era remake of MfM would sound like. richard did remake a track from Analogue Bubblebath 5 (again, another similar sounding album) which he uploaded to Soundcloud, and it sounds like this:
(the original is "Track A2" from Analogue Bubblebath 5).
here i think richard is refering to Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008, released in 2015. it looks like he had a long-time interest in releasing the tracks which appeared in countless live sets in the decade leading up to Syro.
ODS is a release which explicitly aims to release live tracks from a certain period which predates this 2010 interview, and the compiling of tracks on ODS may actually be based on the album richard is refering to in the above quote. let's not forget that Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 is definitely an album which changed and rotated, even after its release - it was quickly reissued with a bonus track, and then again with three more bonus tracks.
we all know what this is. warp co-founder Steve Beckett couldn't have put it better himself when he announced as early as 2009 that "We're definitely going to be putting out a new album by him - if I can prise it out of his hands." (link - https://exclaim.ca/amparticle/aphex_twin_definitely_putting_out_new_album)
we all think of Syro as the huge, mainstream success of an album which took years and years of engineering and fine-tuning. richard described it himself as "my pop album, or as poppy as it's going to get".
we waited years and years for releases like these. Syro fulfilled the dreams of so many aphex twin fans, not just as a brand new studio album, but as a release of holy-grail live performances such as The Manchester Track (which we've been talking about since 2007) and many others.
he did this for us because he loves the fans - because we wished for it for so long. just look at this!
"aka the manchester track". source - https://warp.net/updates/syro - the original announcement, written by richard himself, just to make absolutely sure that we knew what we were getting.
so, after all this time, it turns out that when richard announced he had "six albums already completed" - a wild, unearthly claim which barely anyone believed at the time - was not only true, but is now visibly confirmed as at least four of them have been released. richard doesn't describe the sixth album, but the extract from the 2010 interview ends with a mention of "loads of tracks which don't belong anywhere" which, of course, we saw during the SoundCloud era.
now, in 2022, we still have so much more to be excited about. richard has been talking about remastering cassette tapes from the SAW85-92 era, building custom-made cassette decks in a process which is not only exciting, but intensely personal as he has stated numerous times
meanwhile, there is a whole new generation of god-tier tracks from live performances - tracks which are as lush and groundbreaking as ever.
for the love of god, PLEASE check out this recent YouTube channel by the name of Unlimited Joy, which is collecting dozens and dozens of unreleased live tunes:
what a time to be alive. eternal love richard xxx