Aphex Twin: Collapse EP (12″, Warp, September 2018)

First impressions can be deceiving. Having been underwhelmed Aphex’s two releases in 2015 and, I’ll admit, having largely forgotten about the 2016 one, I was prepared to be hurt again with this. And the first two minutes of the lead track, T69 Collapse, seemed to confirm my fears: it’s kind of a skittering drill’n’bass number with a bit of an acid bassline and it’s nice enough but it’s all a bit polite in this day and age (this sound is, by my estimate, about 23 years old now). Then  suddenly it all, well, collapses, into a much more intense pummelling of drums and wailing of synths. The final third reverts to the more polite mode, but suddenly there’s more going on and everything is far more interesting. And the next four tracks are also varied and complex and really pretty good. 1st 44 has some nice sparse moments with almost a dancehall sound, complete with distorted toasting. MT1 t29r9 has some of the most dancy moments, but also some of the floatiest. abundance10edit[2 R8’s, FZ20m & a 909] has sounds that reach back into the early-90s ambient techno days, complete with sci-fi-ish vocal samples, although some of the beats are more breaksy. And pthex is a good example of Analord-era woozy breakbeat acid. On the whole… sure, he’s not breaking much new ground here, but this has to be his strongest release since 2014’s Syro, and a nice reminder of why we love the great man despite all our scepticism.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Electronic.