Throwback Aphex aka It’s Ya Boy DunnyDecember 21, 2010
Everyone is posting up their best of the year lists – I’m in no way qualified to do that for all genres unless I want to bullshit like every other blog and pretend that I seriously thoroughly listened to hundreds of different albums in 2010. That said, we’re probably going to do 1) a best hip-hop of the year list (and best electronic of the year if Sal wants to do that) because that’s what we’re only really qualified for (and the quantity of quality hip-hop was pretty thin across the board this year), 2) a random smattering of songs from other genres I enjoyed in 2010 and 3) a collection of some of the “best of’s” I found around the internets. I’m also going to poke around to find some under-appreciated albums from the year if you’re good.
ANYWAYZ, watched Manic, a ‘tentious indie film from 2001, last night. It’s about a bunch of kids in a mental institution, specifically JGL, Zo-e Deschanel and Buzz from Home Alone, while Don Cheadle schools them in becoming civilized and such. Obviously JGL fights Buzz and gets down with Zooey while various hijinks ensue in the institution. I thought it was a cool, personal look at that generation. I enjoyed it as much as I would enjoy The Town or whatever movies people watch to feel better about themselves these days.
ANYWAYZ, the film won me over around 45 seconds in when they played Aphex Twin’s “Cliffs” (and repeated it several times during the movie). They also played “Girl/Boy Song” during a “crucial” basketball scene. I’m a huge Aphex fan. I think he’s one of the best and most underrated musicians of all time and his run from 1992 to 1998 or so is nearly* unparalleled in music. While the quality of his music was certainly astounding, his most impressive feat to me was that he dabbled in so many genres successfully, from acid house to ambient to drum-n-bass to chamber music to industrial. His music ranged from beautiful to utterly chaotic and he produced so much music that I sometimes think he would have been heralded even more if he came out this past decade where quantity is so valued.
I’m putting up a few of my favorites. If you’re interested in hearing more, I’d recommend Selected Ambient Works 85-92 as an introduction to his music and his most accessible and complete album (albeit a bit dated) from end-to-end. From there, check out SAW 2 if you’re interested in his ambient stuff (like Lichen). His Richard D. James album has his more high-tempo, drum-n-bass stuff like “4” and “Girl/Boy Song”. After that, his discography gets a lot less consistent, but I can guarantee you that there is something worth checking out on each and every one of his albums.
DL: Aphex Twin – 4
* I’m not trying to compare him to the Beatles or anything but his body of work and versatility is incredibly incredibly impressive