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Falling in love with Selected Ambient Works 85-92


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I know this is probably blasphemy to post this here as we all know it's an amzing piece of art BUT I'm just totally falling in love with it past few days.

You know when you sort of don't bother listening to something as much as you ''know it'' so well and sort of ''know'' it's amazing but then come back to it and realise it's actually more than what you thought.

What struck me yesterday is just how amazingly subtle all the arragement changes are but also how sort of playful those decisions are. Like it's kind of childlike in it's execution of automation etc  - a bit cheeky but also so conciously arranged.

Just stunning. I love the acid transition to Green Calx but I also find it a bit too jarring. It's like there's these weird evil tracks kind of mixed into the lushness. 

Either way, just absolutelt amazing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Most underrated RDJ album?

I hadn't listened to this for years (or rather decades); it sort of existed in the shadow of SAWII, probably gave it a few spins in the nineties, and then sort of forgot about it, but when I dug it out two or three years ago, it immediately clicked in the most astonishing way, and I just couldn't stop listening to it, playing it for hours on repeat. Ever since, I've come back to it regularly and still can't quite get my head around how great it is. The whole thing really made my year, it was like suddenly discovering a fully accomplished, lost RDJ classic, even though it had been under my mose all the time, hiding in plain sight in my CD rack.

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saw1 always clicked with me right away but has also deepened over time.  fantastic album.

the one i initially wrote off (for a while) was classics since its a compilation rather than a proper album.  but now the early early stuff +that era from the SC traks are some of my favorites

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SAW 85-92 and Surfing on Sine Waves are truly underappreciated compared to the more recent material; I suppose my absolute and unwavering RDJ fandom hollowed out around Drukqs, although the drill'n'bass of Girl/Boy, RDJ album and even HABs had already had me ambivalent. After that picking up his releases, even Analord, was more habitual than truly about the music. I didn't buy Syro until about five years after the fact. The releases that have actually interested me after falling out have been the Cheetah and Collapse EPs, especially Collapse. I can easily listen to everything and even enjoy it, but what really gets me going is the pre-millennium material (with some notable exceptions). This can be construed around here as heresy and apostasy, but there you go.

Edited by dcom
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Not sure why people would argue SAW 85-92 is underrated. It always ends up high on various top lists. It's just a given classic. Completely undisputed. Appreciating a well known classic is like saying "Hi, I'm a noob! Who are these aphex twins?". The appreciation should be implied.

Edited by goDel
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23 hours ago, goDel said:

Not sure why people would argue SAW 85-92 is underrated. It always ends up high on various top lists. It's just a given classic. Completely undisputed. Appreciating a well known classic is like saying "Hi, I'm a noob! Who are these aphex twins?". The appreciation should be implied.

Really? I don't see it mentioned nearly as often as SAW2, ICBYD or Drukqs. As I said, I think the problem is that it was overshadowed by its "successor". But maybe that's just me. 🤷‍♂️

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28 minutes ago, IDEM said:

Really? I don't see it mentioned nearly as often as SAW2, ICBYD or Drukqs. As I said, I think the problem is that it was overshadowed by its "successor". But maybe that's just me. 🤷‍♂️

Certainly not at the time of the release of SAWII. To me it even makes more sense to consider SAWII underrated. The initial reaction to Saw2 was a bit underwhelmed, tbh. 

But anyways, decided to google some all time lists to see whatup. Guess what... duh

https://www.albumoftheyear.org/list/750-pitchforks-50-best-idm-albums-of-all-time/

numero uno: saw1

https://treblezine.com/10-essential-idm-albums/

one aphex twin album in the list. guess which. saw1 duh

https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/9948-the-50-best-ambient-albums-of-all-time/?page=5

hey, saw2! on second place. Might explain the difference. Saw2 is ambient. Like really ambient. Very much niche ambient. Well within its boxed definition. Saw1 doesn't fit the stereotypical ambient stamp, I guess. Are you a hardcore ambient fan, by any chance?

Google also burped up the following alternatives list

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/01/30/24830030/the-strangers-alternative-to-pitchforks-50-best-idm-albums-list

No aphex twin here. I guess the relevant aphex albums were in the pitchfork list. Which had saw1 at its peak. Other stuff that google burped also referenced this pitchfork list, btw. 

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/Carbon_Fields/greatest_idm_albums_of_all_time/3/

winner saw1

https://www.sputnikmusic.com/topalbums.php?t=74

second place saw1; 19th place saw2

General conclusion as far as i'm concerned: saw1 is more often considered better than saw2. only exception is when narrowing to only ambient.

 

 

 

 

 

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                                                                             markedone i think is the only watmmer to hear this BEAUTY live & mixed up in mexico:)

                                                                       love the background talking and yelling that adds to tha masterpiece of friends chilling:)

                                                                                                     :aphexsign::aphexsign::aphexsign:

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This is probably my most listened-to album ever. I don't think it's my favorite Aphex album but it's the one I go back to the most. I'm never not in the mood to hear it. It just feels like home.

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1 hour ago, goDel said:

Certainly not at the time of the release of SAWII. To me it even makes more sense to consider SAWII underrated. The initial reaction to Saw2 was a bit underwhelmed, tbh. 

But anyways, decided to google some all time lists to see whatup. Guess what... duh

https://www.albumoftheyear.org/list/750-pitchforks-50-best-idm-albums-of-all-time/

numero uno: saw1

https://treblezine.com/10-essential-idm-albums/

one aphex twin album in the list. guess which. saw1 duh

https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/9948-the-50-best-ambient-albums-of-all-time/?page=5

hey, saw2! on second place. Might explain the difference. Saw2 is ambient. Like really ambient. Very much niche ambient. Well within its boxed definition. Saw1 doesn't fit the stereotypical ambient stamp, I guess. Are you a hardcore ambient fan, by any chance?

Google also burped up the following alternatives list

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/01/30/24830030/the-strangers-alternative-to-pitchforks-50-best-idm-albums-list

No aphex twin here. I guess the relevant aphex albums were in the pitchfork list. Which had saw1 at its peak. Other stuff that google burped also referenced this pitchfork list, btw. 

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/Carbon_Fields/greatest_idm_albums_of_all_time/3/

winner saw1

https://www.sputnikmusic.com/topalbums.php?t=74

second place saw1; 19th place saw2

General conclusion as far as i'm concerned: saw1 is more often considered better than saw2. only exception is when narrowing to only ambient.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, you know how it is with the internet -- depends where you look:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/aphextwin/comments/3vuq7t/aphex_twin_albums_ranked/

https://www.reddit.com/r/aphextwin/comments/9oo4x6/rank_the_aphex_twin_lps_from_worst_to_best/

https://www.reddit.com/r/aphextwin/comments/elljuh/ranking_aphex_twin_albums/https://www.reddit.com/r/aphextwin/comments/7wlrcu/ranking_the_albums_under_aphex_twin/

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/FatherMcKenzie/aphex_twin_albums_ranked/

https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/okcomputer12127/list/7431/aphex-twin-best-to-worst/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vm_iqHoE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QePRU3KogO8

 

In general, I would challenge the notion that "saw1 is more often considered better than saw2". I guess we could both dig up much more evidence for either of our cases, but that's kind of pointless, isn't it? My gut feeling/memory tells me that SAW2 gets far more mentions when it comes to cornerstones of electronic music (it also has its own volume in the 33 1/3 book series), but seriously debating that is a bit geeky even for my already low standards. Perhaps we can just agree that it is an incredible album. It is also my personal favorite after Syro.

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1 hour ago, IDEM said:

Well, you know how it is with the internet -- depends where you look:

Lets take the first page results on a google search. Pretend we're scientists and all that. Try "Best IDM albums all time" and "Best electronic albums all time" and might as well add "Best ambient albums all time". Report back on what you see in the first ten (non advert) links.

Instead of cherry picking whatever you want to see. Let the google algorithm decide what is important.

I also don't think someone on reddit posting a personal list carries the same weight to a list posted on a site like pitchfork or mixmag. But whatever the case, Google-algorithm decides the weight. The most important links will show up first.

(I've done the work. I know the answer...)

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10 minutes ago, goDel said:

Lets take the first page results on a google search. Pretend we're scientists and all that. Try "Best IDM albums all time" and "Best electronic albums all time" and might as well add "Best ambient albums all time". Report back on what you see in the first ten (non advert) links.

Instead of cherry picking whatever you want to see. Let the google algorithm decide what is important.

I also don't think someone on reddit posting a personal list carries the same weight to a list posted on a site like pitchfork or mixmag. But whatever the case, Google-algorithm decides the weight. The most important links will show up first.

(I've done the work. I know the answer...)

I decided to go with "aphex twin albums ranked", "aphex twin albums best to worst" and the like, and got pretty lucky pretty quickly as you can gather from my stellar reaction time.

I would also argue that "underrated" applies more to a general audience (as represented by reddit and others here) than to "critics" on sites like Pitchfork who, with all due respect, can fuck themselves with a farm tool of their choice.

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If you want a more general audience, I'd think "aphex twin albums ranked" is going into the opposite direction as what your intending to do. It's less general than "electronic music". Not sure why you'd even consider this an argument. But whatever. If you want to stick to your perspective, stick with it. I think it's biased. Eg. : whats the general audience of a youtube link with aphex albums ranked and less than 200 views? That's just random.

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13 hours ago, goDel said:

If you want a more general audience, I'd think "aphex twin albums ranked" is going into the opposite direction as what your intending to do. It's less general than "electronic music". Not sure why you'd even consider this an argument. But whatever. If you want to stick to your perspective, stick with it. I think it's biased. Eg. : whats the general audience of a youtube link with aphex albums ranked and less than 200 views? That's just random.

Okay, I'll bite (again). First off, I'm not sure if you're deliberately misunderstanding me, but I meant "Aphex Twin albums ranked by the general populace" as opposed to "Aphex Twin albums ranked by wanky Pitchfork critics and other journos". This silly little argument (at least on my side) is about whether "SAW1" or SAW2 is generally considered the more merited work/held in higher esteem within Aphex Twin's body of work? To me, that is what the original phrase "Most underrated Aphex Twin album?" signifies. So how is it "random" to search for what I did? Not trying to be wilfully obtuse, I just don't get it.

Also not sure why the confrontational attitude. If I may remind you, I at first formulated the phrase "Most underrated Aphex Twin album" as a question, which you followed up with: "Not sure why people would argue SAW 85-92 is underrated". At this point, no one had "argued" anything, I'd just thrown the question out there because personally, I have seen SAW2 (and other albums like RDJ and ICBYD , for example) discussed far more often than SAW 89--92. If your reply was not directed at me, never mind (even if that would hint at other people having taken that stance before). If it was indeed directed at me, that would be the first (deliberate?) misunderstanding on your part.

You then proceeded to pull ("random"?) snippets out of the World Wide Web, which I reciprocated, and now it appears that my opinion is biased while yours is supposedly (more) objective. At this point, I don't follow anymore, and honestly I don't care to either. I'm not really interested in convincing you of anything, and this question seems more or less impossible to solve (which, again, is why I made it a question and not a statement in the first place).

Lastly, two neckbeards fighting over which 90's album by an electronic music producer is considered "better" is too much of a cliché, sorry. I try to avoid these things since I moved out of mom's basement last April, and my life has most decidedly taken a turn for the better.

For posterity, here's my own "proper Aphex Twin" albums ranking:

1. Syro

2. SAW 89--92

3. ICBYD

4. SAW2

5. Drukqs

4. RDJ Album

I personally rank SAW 89--92 higher than SAW2, and the world would without the shadow of a doubt be a better place if more people did. You do, so you're my friend, bias or no bias.

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so someone starts a thread about discovering (or re-discovering) SAW85-92 - one of the greatest albums of all time - and all you people can do is argue about whether the album is "underrated"?

some of us have been here for over ten years - don't forget this when you see people enjoying SAW85-92 without being familiar with it their entire lives. you act as if it's ridiculous to be surprised in any way that it's a great album - how else are people supposed to discover it? would you rather this forum grows a layer of dust because us wizards have said everything there is to say about it?

god i remember when Fred Mcgriff started a thread, out of the blue, about Ventolin (Probus Mix) just because he liked the track. when did we stop doing things like that?

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Kinda feels like one person is going in a little hard on IDEM for no real reason other than to prove a point which he already made in his first response.

All feels a bit 'internet 2006'. I'm sure things had moved along since then.

Would have been nicer to have just read through some excited talk about the album in question rather than some sideman chatter akin to "my dads harder than your dad' but whatever. Now I am contributing to that.

Great.

PS. I wasn't that arsed about SAW 85-92 for a bit. Post RDJ it clicked...love it.

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Spoiler

My point, although it was lost rather quickly, was that I really like the pre-millennium RDJ material more than post-millennium, and SAW 85-92 is definitely the highlight of that material, although I wasn't explicit about it. Stating that it is underappreciated (not underrated, I was very specific in choosing a word that means not duly appreciated) I meant that because of ifs implicit classic status, it isn't discussed or revisited that much, because People Who Know™ (a bit of a no true scotsman/appeal to purity, but) don't need to, and I'm a tad resentful of the implication that it's a n00b faux pas to even bring it up, but I guess it's a local tradition to WATMMsplain things. Musical taste is an opinion and like opinions and rectums, (almost) everybody has one - but it's a bit weird to start comparing or judging them by pseudo-objective criteria, let alone publicly schooling people about theirs.

I should probably read the rules.

Semi-redacted because I was being an ass.

Edited by dcom
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On 9/11/2020 at 7:21 PM, markedone said:

saw1 always clicked with me right away but has also deepened over time.  fantastic album.

the one i initially wrote off (for a while) was classics since its a compilation rather than a proper album.  but now the early early stuff +that era from the SC traks are some of my favorites

 

On 9/13/2020 at 6:13 PM, Richie Sombrero said:

Yeah exactly the same. It/Classics and dump are my fave of his.

IMO Classics is definitely an underrated album/compilation. Also it's the first Aphex CD I bought back in 95. But what I can remember is that it didn't get that good reception even back then. People were falling for the SAWs and the "old" Aphex sound was too industrial and noisy, or something. But those are just my foggy memories.

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