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The cult of aphex twin - bbc radio 4 doc


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I think I'm going to be hanged for this but sometimes I get the feeling that for some listeners of a ehm more sophisticated stuff (omfg I can already feel the shit storm coming) such as AE, Arca, OPN VHS Head etc. AFX isn't always complex enough, hence the feeling of Rich playing it safe.

 

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Fuck that "sophisticated" part, couldn't come up with better word when posted that verbal diarrhea. Meant people who are into less traditional compositions and song structures, not some beret hats digging slow jazz at modern art show. :cat:

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idk if detuned acid squiggles really count as a traditional song structure =/

He definitely has an ear for pop sensibilities though, it's undoubtedly one of the reasons he's so popular. They may be detuned acid squiggles but they also tend to be totally hummable earworms as well, in the way that autechre tracks aren't, or at least haven't been for 20 yrs

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idk if detuned acid squiggles really count as a traditional song structure =/

He definitely has an ear for pop sensibilities though, it's undoubtedly one of the reasons he's so popular. They may be detuned acid squiggles but they also tend to be totally hummable earworms as well, in the way that autechre tracks aren't, or at least haven't been for 20 yrs

 

For sure! But he's always been really melodically gifted. I'd say a lot of his pre-Analord stuff has just as much or more pop sensibility, which is probably at least partially why his most viewed songs on youtube, etc. tend to be from earlier releases.

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"56 Cymru Beats again, is technically impressive - but again could have easily been released in 1994."

 

...the fuck kinda time machine you got?

 

That's a curious metric to judge music by. "The prepared piano tracks could have been released in the early 1700s..." Like maybe I want to listen to good music even if it's not using cutting edge technology. Something I really like about Aphex Twin's music is that if he hadn't made it, no-one else would have, because it's just so different no-one else would have dreamed up anything remotely similar. The same goes for Autechre. For the most part, it doesn't sound 90s so much as like it could be from an utterly alien culture.

That's a great post.

 

Spoken like someone who probably didn't experience the 90's first hand.  90's Aphex Twin and Autechre is well within the musical styles and movements of that decade..

 

 

 

I guess it's within the parameters of 90s electronic music only because those parameters are so wide in scope, although maybe I'm just romanticising that era.  Just listening to Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Underworld, to take three examples...  All were writing heavily rhythmic electronic music, often with single sections and keys, and no chord progressions, as far as the structure goes, so in that sense, yeah, there's a vague commonality...  But you've got someone hitting an ammo box and drowning it in reverb, not caring if the result clips, or simulating tinnitus then modulating it with drums... other people making atmospheric alien soundscapes that sound almost like robotic factories, crafting intricate, tight rhythms around short snippets of samples, or flanging rhythms over drones... and yet other people layering sort of beat poetry over a house beat and layers of piano, harmonica, snippets of found sounds, a love letter to the city... then it's a far cry from a bunch of people all just using a 909 and Alpha Juno to make generic rave music, which is as homogenised as e.g. most rock music sounds to me, everyone using the same instruments in the same way.

 

I guess in all likelihood, people are just as innovative now, it's just that I find it harder to find them, either because the music industry collapsed or I'm getting set in my ways, or both...

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