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Chosen Lords

Wednesday, May 10 2006
When Richard D. James came out at the start of the '90s as Aphex Twin, he was poised at the zeitgeist of bedroom electronica, melding aggressive acid to ambient soundscapes. With "Come to Daddy" and "Windowlicker," he even brought such avant-garde warpage to the charts. But like most futuristic avatars (see Prince, Missy), James retreated back into retro nostalgia rather than plow ahead. Reclusive for much of this century, James returned under his AFX guise for a series of 12 12-inches called Analord. Chosen Lords culls 10 of these schizophrenic, oft-slapdash cuts to focus on highlights. Baroque synth lines are set against the early analog wiggles of "Batine Acid," while "PWSteal.Ldpinch.D" (named for a PC virus) rides a straight hi-hat. "Cilonen" contains a melancholic melodicism that slowly grows harried. While child's play compared to his Byzantine benchmarks, Chosen Lords shows Aphex evoking the good ol' days with a "cleaning out the hard drive" casualness.

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Andy Beta


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