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Aphex Twin - is it OK to only like the bits that sound nice?


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So I've been an Aphex fan for a long time. See my profile, I've been on this forum since 2005. Longer than that really, its just that in 2005 everything got deleted and everyone had to sign up again.

T69 Collapse has me thinking about something thats always been a recurring thought with Aphex.


So T69 Collapse has three obvious different parts:

Part 1: 00:00 to 01:54 - lush
Part 2: 01:54 to 03:18 - discordant, noisy, difficult
Part 3: 03:18 to 05:18 - lush

So my question is:

Is the middle bit really necessary?

If it wasn't there, would the track just be dismissed as a nice sounding effort? Does its inclusion in the track make it a better piece of art?


I'm a long time fan of Aphex, but the tracks I really like are the ones that sound lush all the way through. There's a few on each album. I love Vordhosbn. I never listen to 54 Cymru Beats.


If I made my own edit of T69 Collapse with the middle bit chopped out, would that be some kind of sacrilege?


I wonder about his reasons for putting something like that in the middle of a track. Trying to push the envelope I guess. Any maybe also a way to make sure his stuff stays 'underground'?


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Is it OK to only read the bits that sound nice? 


Aphex. Aphex.


So T69 Collapse has parts:

Part 1: lush


So my question is:

would the track just be nice? a better piece of art?


Aphex, lush. I love Vordhosbn.


If I made T69 Collapse, would that be kind?

Edited by Herr Jan
[herr jans only lush bits edit]
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it's actually a good question and observation

Like I just want to skip to that part in abundance when the pads come in, avoiding that stuttery percussion in the beginning, but still end up listening to it in its entirety just out of politeness.

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"id like to live only the good bits of life please"


edit: nah jk, is fine imo I go on and off that feel of only wanting to listen to "bits" of tracks.. never rlly felt that w aphex tho I don't think


I did listen to the last breakdown bit of ziggomatic v17 over and over, but that's not the same as saying the rest of the track wasn't nessesary..

Edited by MIXL2
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I haven't laughed that hard reading one page since the latest Dank Memes, I'm crying!!!


I was gonna start quoting from the beginning of the responses and saying Haha but Funny stuff everyone:)

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Back in my teens, it took me a long time to discover some of the gems of albums like ICBYD and RDJ because they were obscured by "bad bits" that I didn't have the patience for... Throughout my 20's I would often interpret difficult music as being clever, but over the years I've kinda stopped being fascinated with beardstrokey abrasive stuff, it's just too self-indulgent and meaningless... If there's a good groove I can still dig dissonant music, but there really has to be some human element to anchor to. Life's too short for anything else. I'm all for an eventual lush edit of the discography, soundcloud dump & all.

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IMO he's made a whole career out of "beautiful, weird/hard/crazy, beautiful".  Most of his records either have this pattern within tracks(RDJ Album, Collapse) or spread out over a whole record(SAW II, CTD).  There's a few exceptions, but I have no idea what "necessary" means.


Mix the music how you like!  I still have a playlist of SAW II based on a mix I made in 96 where I edited out all the 'weird' tracks and fit it on a 90 minute cassette.

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i'm guessing you also plan to run ventolin through a band reject filter


Ventolin is an interesting example to discuss.


So its 1995, I'm at Uni. I've been listening to Selected Ambient Works 95-92 loads, SAW II loads. The hype around Aphex is at an all time high. The internet wasn't really a big thing yet (it existed, but not many people were on it). So the hype was being driven by NME and Melody Maker and so on. The playing-sandpaper-at-a-club thing was already legend. The SAW II lucid dreaming story was legend. "On" had been released a few years prior, had got into the top 40 and got played on MTV. So there's a new EP out, called Ventolin, the NME says. I take a trip down to HMV to find it (no amazon, no streaming, you had to get your arse down to the shops and rummage around).


And, you know, Ventolin. Its an impressive bit of experimentation. Story goes that its supposed to sound like having an asthma attack. He captured that pretty well. I've listened to it all the way through once or twice in the last 23 years, not more than that. I mean it invokes interesting feelings, but I don't actually want to listen to it.


The rest of the EP though, fucking amazing. The Coppice, The Marazanvose Mix. Sounded like nothing anyone had done before, so organic and low fi yet still electronic. And then the second disc with the Cylob mix on it.


Its interesting that he put Ventolin out at that time when the hype was so high. Like it was literally unplayable on the radio. It really established that he wasn't trying to get popular.


And if you wanted to listen to something cool, you put on the Ventolin EP and skip the first track.


I Care Because You Do dropped a month later. I like albums you can listen to all the way through without skipping stuff. ICBYD is almost one of those albums, but I would skip Ventolin obviously.


Icct Hedral is interesting, because its very intense and noisy and dark but its also very musical and cinematic. You can listen to it and imagine the world ending and folding in on itself or whatever. So Icct Hedral vs Ventolin is interesting to think about because they're both from the same period and both intense and dark but Icct Hedral is deep and impressive but Ventolin is kindof like giving you the finger and jamming a pencil in your ear at the same time.

Edited by zazen
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