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AFX - Analogue Bubblebath Vol. 3 / CAT 008 CD

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Analogue Bubblebath Vol. 3 (CD, EP) album cover

 

"AFX in his third Analogue Bubblebath"

Well... What to say here.. I'll keep it short because I'm sure any and everything Aphex has been discussed thousands of times over on this site and elsewhere. The CD edition coming in early 1993 slightly after the 12" in 92, contained 5 extra tracks left off the original vinyl. These were later put to wax when they repressed AB3 in 1997. I'll get to one of those in a moment.

In the context of his entire oeuvre, I would say this is a pretty weak release for him, sounding like discarded scraps from SOSW and Caustic Window releases. Probably why it came out on "his" label. I still like them and they have an unmistakable aphexy-ness, but after making my way though the soundcloud dump I'm not totally clear as to why *these* tracks were selected. For serious heads only. Sound off in the comments.

There is one track on this CD however that i would rank as one of His Best Ever. I'm speaking of course of "(CAT 00897-AA1)"  which is a happy, uplifting piece of simple electronic music that only RDJ can come up with. It is a treasure and always puts me in a good mood. It's often on background playlists for when I have people over and it always gets "ooooh what is this?"

 

For this track alone the CD is worth it. It's a magical one. Another track I like is .1993841, a nice long moody groove. (CD only track #1) is also a nice "b-side" from SAW II perhaps. The rest I could probably do without. Anyone here absolutely love this release?
 

So.. AB3: 3/5

(CAT 00897-AA1): 5/5

 

Up next.... more RDJ with the Caustic Window Compilation CAT 009 CD 🙂

 

 

 

Edited by dr lopez
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To that... rather... high rate of sampling. I think.

I was picking up an awful lot of shit though.

Can you smell that shit?

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Totally disagree that it's a sub standard release. In the context of the time it was fantastic . So much love for this album. Classic Richard. 

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.942937 is all time top 10 Aphex for me. 

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Gonna expand on this later with track names (mostly done this now) but I just relistened with the sun coming up over Wales' only motorway, trying to think how I felt about it when it came out. On reflection it was everything I wanted at that time. If anything that maybe its only fault: that for once Richard gave us what we wanted/expected:

 

> Another version of the seminal Analogue bubblebath one mellow vibes - 008971AA1

> Polynomial c type trance versions - 216061, 942937 & 00890569

> More didgeridoo esque  b side cornish death techno tracks- 55278037732581& 00897A2

> Some stripped down minimalism, when it still seemed exciting and maybe the future - 1993841, 0180871L & 008971A1

>Our first glimpses of SAW2 outside of quino phec - Untitled

 

Loves it matey. It was like Manna from heaven for us that had heard Didgeridoo and Xylem Tube and wanted more techno that sounded like that, because let be honest, no one sounded like it. 

I truly cherished this album at the time and had both the CD and Vinyl copy, which as a 13 year old with a paper round was extreme dedication. If Rich added a couple of tracks (or even just the vinyl version of 216061!) on the bleep store I'd buy it all over again too.

 

(Thinking back further if I remember correctly the vinyl came first and I was chuffed to pieces to get a CD version with extra tracks and without the stereo split thingy. Love to go back and see the joy on my little face, I still remember the moment I got the CD, Spillers Records Cardiff, Saturday morning. Lush times)

 

Edited by donquixote
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Sorry d-lo, but I'm also in the love camp. Really great tracks all the way through the release. First track is early 90's old school techno based IDM to the core. The same with the vacuum cleaner track. The fluted track is a bliss, a beautiful track indeed. All that mixed with other, little slower atmospheric tracks with trademark afx twirps and industrial-like elements, such as on tracks 2&3. Really love the mood on those. An ambient background from Garden Of Linmiri is also interesting. Like an ambience from original Blade Runner with its sirens.

Only critic comes from the overall slightly lo-fi sound of the album/EP's. Sounds little muddy to me, like listening through a cotton or something. Hell, even most of the sc tracks sounded better. I also link this strongly to Classics - sosw+Quoth - Caustic Window LP&Comp. imo really lovely bunch of albums which play well together, CW LP being maybe the strongest sibling. But had this fitted to Warp's profile....strong no. If I think early rephlex releases, this one always come to my mind first. This has that rephlex sound. :braindance:

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The current forum index poll indicates otherwise as well...

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Love the discourse in here guys. i love it!

*obama voice* let me be clear.... in the context of every RDJ album I think this one is not as strong as the other albums, BUT! that doesn't mean: a. it's bad, or b. it's not the best analogue bubblebath. I think it's quite good and varied in a way that shows all his strengths. (AB4 is my personal AB fav)

Does anyone think AB3 is better than ICBYD?? Honest question. We're all aphex obsessives here but let's have a little comparative perspective ok? That's all I meant.

I do however totally understand don quixote's take... when it came out it was great for that didgeridoo stuff that everyone needed more of. And it really is that "classic" rephlex sound that we had heard on the POSAM comp and The Purple Universe. Agree with Uros this was not for WARP. I actually probably like AB3 better than the CW comp... *gets ready for more hate*

 

Edited by dr lopez
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1 hour ago, dr lopez said:

Love the discourse in here guys. i love it!

*obama voice* let me be clear.... in the context of every RDJ album I think this one is not as strong as the other albums, BUT! that doesn't mean: a. it's bad, or b. it's not the best analogue bubblebath. I think it's quite good and varied in a way that shows all his strengths. (AB4 is my personal AB fav)

Does anyone think AB3 is better than ICBYD?? Honest question. We're all aphex obsessives here but let's have a little comparative perspective ok? That's all I meant.

I do however totally understand don quixote's take... when it came out it was great for that didgeridoo stuff that everyone needed more of. And it really is that "classic" rephlex sound that we had heard on the POSAM comp and The Purple Universe. Agree with Uros this was not for WARP. I actually probably like AB3 better than the CW comp... *gets ready for more hate*

 

Just wanna say no hate doc, just love for bb3! 🙂 Will come back on the other less important points when I have 5. 

Edited by donquixote

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Better than ICBYD? The latter being very strong contender for my top 5 records forever, so nope. But better that CW comp? Definitely yes. When it comes to CW I really like CWLP more, although comp has some serious bangers too. btw, will we have a discussion for CWLP too since it sorta came on cd too thanks to Joyrex? Y'know 1994 draws closer with every passing release :emotawesomepm9:

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probs won't be doing a CWLP post... we've got a lot of other rephlex releases to get through!!

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i haven't heard this album yet lol

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I'm lucky enough to have the original CD pictured, minus the bubble wrap but still has the black and white sticker in good condition.  I traded 2 Coil albums for it, lol

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16 hours ago, dr lopez said:

Love the discourse in here guys. i love it!

*obama voice* let me be clear.... in the context of every RDJ album I think this one is not as strong as the other albums, BUT! that doesn't mean: a. it's bad, or b. it's not the best analogue bubblebath. I think it's quite good and varied in a way that shows all his strengths. (AB4 is my personal AB fav)

Does anyone think AB3 is better than ICBYD?? Honest question. We're all aphex obsessives here but let's have a little comparative perspective ok? That's all I meant.

I do however totally understand don quixote's take... when it came out it was great for that didgeridoo stuff that everyone needed more of. And it really is that "classic" rephlex sound that we had heard on the POSAM comp and The Purple Universe. Agree with Uros this was not for WARP. I actually probably like AB3 better than the CW comp... *gets ready for more hate*

 

Sorry, had to get pissed in the name of the mortgage at a horrible corporate beer Fest.... Hanging right now

 

Do I think its better than ICBYD? No and yes. ABB3 definitely had a more profound affect on me however ICBYD is more mature. I could go on But I think maybe this is the way, for me, that I like to judge music. 

 

Edit: hopefully I'll be less hung over by Universal Indicator Green and we'll go another round of debate! (Edit 3. Are you just doing the CDs?)

 

Edit2: I hope you know I love these reviews too. Enjoying the journey right now

Edited by donquixote
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9 hours ago, Ivan Ooze said:

i haven't heard this album yet lol

Put this on repeat

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*ahem*... put this on repeat (forever):

 

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this is def a proper afx release. nothing substandard about it. geez. plenty classic tunes on this one. how could you....

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Gonna have to boringly agree with many of the points already here... 

This album always sounded to me like a less good SOSW. Very much detroit influenced... lots of x0x drum sounds, moogy basses and leads, lots of tracks are just based around fairly simple loops, with minimal arrangement. Many tracks have the early period Afx recipe of harsh distorted drums + eerie high pitched pads +  massive resonant zzzzzaps. Although the quality control is a little lower, there are a handful of tracks that go nowhere interesting beyond a detuned bass riff and some clonking sounds. The ambient track(s) are fine but a little out of place.

But there is true greatness within, for example the opener with its cheekily kitsch ring mod seems to be dredged from the same well as Polynomial-C, as does the even ravier .000890569

CAT (00897-AA1)is an absolute stunner as well and has that etherial bittersweet quality that is also present in tracks like Analogue Bubblebath and hexagon.

Overall its not a release I go back to very often. If I want analogue goodness I'll probably put on the more accomplished Analords. When I do though I really enjoy the good trax and bask in the early 90s-ness of it all. I also agree that lots of these tracks should have been swapped out for any number of better contemporous tracks (eg Sams Car, Kids Beach, AFX Theme)

 

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.215061

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Bought this at the now closed record store in the basement of Thornes Market in Northampton, MA - Dynamite Records.  Purchased before figure painting class.  Top memories of driving my old 325i, playing a dubbed to cassette version of this, instead of trying to teach myself Spanish via cassette, before heading to Madrid.  Love the hell out of this release.  

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