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Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 on 3LP - direct audio

Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 Vinyl 3LP

1972 Records

  • $ 3498

Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 Vinyl 3LP

Aphex Twin’s 1994 masterpiece Selected Ambient Works Volume II includes barely anything resembling a beat or any sign of typical song structure, yet the album continues to garner adulation generally reserved for holy music. Fans have been testifying on its behalf for nearly two decades, as if it were capable of curing ills or healing the soul. Its synthetic construction belies the intuitive, human, melancholic and uplifting nature of the music.

Some have speculated the album was intended by Aphex Twin’s Richard D. James as a farce, as if its über-minimalism was a joke played on an electronic community that relied so heavily on the beat; an expectation-defying statement from ambient-house’s young hero. The album induces varied responses and often from the same person. A listener may go from being incredulous to drenched in tears within the span of a single track. Music critic Frank Owen described the music as “veering between an eerie beauty and an almost nightmarish desolation.” James himself described it as “like standing in a power station on acid.”

The album’s raw emotional power is built upon the influences of Brian Eno, Erik Satie, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and The Orb. Each of its tracks has an elegiac and desolate feel far removed from the tooth-rattling, drill-’n’-bass or abstract electronica for which James was originally known. The soft, nimble flow leaves one in a tranquilized state. Throughout the album, James resists the temptation to layer the sound with beats or samples. Instead, he relies on swathes of sound and harmonics and almost-implied pulses. When the music does incorporate subtle industrial sounds, rhythmic drums or muted samples, it is only to affect a menacing feel in the textures.

Remarkably, for an album that is often perceived as difficult, Selected Ambient Works Volume II is quite accessible. Featured in films, commercials and video games, the music continues to offer an entry point for listeners new to the ambient genre while remaining a classic touted by connoisseurs.

Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 Track Listing:

1. Cliffs
2. Radiator
3. Rhubarb
4. Grass
5. Mold
6. Ropes
7. Circles
8. Weathered stone
9. Tree
10. Domino
11. Steel Plate
12. Blue Calx
13. Parallel Stripes
14. Metal Grating
15. Windowsill
16. B+W stripes
17. Siding Nails
18. Corrugated Tubing
19. Lichen
20. Leaves
21. Tassels
22. rusty metal
23. B+W stripes II
24. Shiny Metal Rods
25. Grey Stripe
26. Z Twig
27. Window Sill
28. Hexagon
29. Lichen
30. Spots
31. Tassels
32. White Blur 2
33. Match Sticks

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