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Aphex Twin – Come to Daddy

November 20, 2007

Aphex Twin is either one of the most important and talented electronic musicians ever, or a disposable gimmick. His work is either ingenious or obnoxious trash. Whatever Richard D. James is all about, something which no one can seem to figure out anyway, the Come To Daddy EP is distinctly more “Aphex Twin” than any work before it. That is to say, when it is brutal, it is more brutal. When it is mellow, it is more mellow. And when it is fun, it is more fun. This is not to say that the Come To Daddy EP is anywhere close to Aphex Twin’s best or most respectable work. But this work in particular does represent a lot of what Aphex Twin aims for.

The single Come to Daddy is one hell of a number. Although for Aphex Twin fans it may seem tame in comparison to James’ other more hardcore breakbeat work, it is still abrasive and rocking for how underhandedly atmospheric it is. To be sure, if you never liked or found any value in breakbeats in the first place, Come to Daddy is obnoxious and without any real value. But the breakbeats are utilized with a little more recognizable precision and beauty later on. The second track, Flim, is a pretty number with soft yet somehow driving breakbeats played over some of James’ most relaxing and pretty atmospheric tracks ever, later on decorated by humble strings to make for a very memorable final product. Bucephalus Bouncing Ball is often cited as one of Aphex Twin’s best breakbeat tracks. It starts off as a solid beat with a comprihensable direction, and then about halfway through it breaks into two minutes of impressive breakbeat experimentation and probably covers more ground than most other drill ‘n bass artists cover in entire albums. It’s one for fans and fans only, but it ends up being one of the most eclectic and consistantly interesting songs James has ever made, without being completely scary or obnoxious.

Funny Little Man represents it’s title with startling accuracy to say the least, but it isn’t a song you will play back as much as the rest of the EP. In any case, it still feels like it holds the disks uninterruptable personality, save maybe the very end where Richard has perhaps a bit too much fun with lude phrases played through a voicebox. Of the eight tracks that comprise the EP, three of them are alternate mixes of little to no value in comparison to their brethren.

Depending on what your specific taste in Aphex Twin is, and every fan certainly approaches his discography in unique ways with unique preferences, these mixes might be worthy of note, but for sure the albums best moments are it’s original vignettes which comprise the bulk of it. The last of these original pieces on the disk is IZ-US, possibly the most groovy track James has ever made. Simple rhythmic hand claps, snare hits, and cymbal rolls are played over some signature Aphex synthesizers. Considering it’s creator, IZ-US is a relaxing, comforting piece indeed.

Come to Daddy might not be Aphex Twin’s most worthwhile release, but it is easily the best EP. New listeners will most likely find this to be the best introductin to Aphex Twin’s expansive, varied career, and there are treats to be found here for both fans and new listeners alike. However, Aphex Twin’s quality is always scattered, and while there will most likely be something here to satisfy any individual, there are going to be as many songs that are initially worthless to a given person. Aphex Twin is an artist that you need to train yourself to like. This only obscures his agenda and scope of talent even more.

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One comment

  1. Aphex Twin is a true master of his craft. He constantly redefines what can be done with electronic instruments and computer software.



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