Caustic Window (album)

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Caustic Window
Studio album by Caustic Window
Released 16 June 2014 (2014-06-16)
Recorded 1994
Genre Electronic
Length 69:25
Label Rephlex
Caustic Window chronology
Compilation
(1998)
Caustic Window
(2014)

Caustic Window is an eponymous album by Richard D. James, under the alias Caustic Window. Originally planned for release in 1994, the album was abandoned, with only five physical copies being produced. One of the copies, which surfaced for sale on Discogs in 2014, was bought and digitally distributed through a Kickstarter campaign. It was eventually sold on eBay for $46,300.

Background[edit]

Although 2 of the tracks (Phlaps and Cunt) appeared on compilations in the 90s and one of the songs (Mumbly) had its chord progression reused for track 6 of Analogue Bubblebath Vol 3, the actual Caustic Window album's release was canceled. Before being shelved, five or more copies of the album were pressed in 1994. One of the copies surfaced on Discogs in 2014, with a price of $13,500.[1] In response, We Are the Music Makers, an electronic music forum, negotiated with Rephlex Records and initiated a Kickstarter project, in which people who contributed to the Kickstarter project received a digital copy of the album.[2] More than $47,000 was raised for the album.[3]

After the Kickstarter campaign, the copy was sold on an eBay auction. Money raised from the sale was split evenly between the Kickstarter contributors, Richard D. James and an unnamed charity.[4] The copy was bought by Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft, for $46,300.[5][6]

References to popular culture[edit]

The track "Mumbly" uses a sample of Muttley, the canine sidekick of Dick Dastardly, the main villain in Hanna-Barbara's Wacky Races. It also uses the same chord progression as track 6 on Analogue Bubblebath Vol 3, and an unidentified sample of a woman apparently insulting someone with a stutter ("I don't even know why you bother talking").

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Consequence of Sound C+[7]
Pitchfork (8.1/10)[8]

Mark Richardson of Pitchfork labeled the album as "best new reissue," writing: "Given all that, Caustic Window LP probably wouldn’t have left a significant mark, and would have been heard as second-tier James. Twenty years later, though, we’re hearing it with that aura, that extra bit of longing that comes from how scarce music from James has become. And in that light, second tier is still very good indeed."[8] Derek Staples of Consequence of Sound wrote: "The greatest gems within this collection highlight James’ foresight into electronic dance music," further elaborating that the album "contains early examples of now trending tech-house." Nevertheless, Staples also stated: "This release might not have lived up to the lofty standards of the label, yet it remains relevant in a community of constant transition."[7]

Track listing[edit]

(Note: at 69 minutes the album is clearly a 2 disc set (also it has been listed as a 2 disc set since it's existence was revealed by Mu-Ziq back in the 90s). However where the break between discs occurs is unknown.)

  1. "Flutey" – 8:20
  2. "Stomper 101mod Detunekik" – 7:26
  3. "Mumbly" – 5:31
  4. "Popeye" – 1:19
  5. "Fingertrips" – 4:17
  6. "Revpok" – 3:43
  7. "AFX Tribal Kik" – 1:06
  8. "Airflow" – 5:06
  9. "Squidge In The Fridge" – 4:09
  10. "Fingry" – 4:51
  11. "Jazzphase" – 4:23
  12. "101 Rainbows Ambient Mix" – 8:52
  13. "Phlaps" – 3:50
  14. "Cunt" – 4:16
  15. "Phone Pranks" – 2:16

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (9 April 2014). "Aphex Twin Unreleased Album Caustic Window to Be Sold Digitally on Kickstarter, Physically on eBay". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Aphex Twin's unreleased Caustic Window album is now avaible digitally through Kickstarter". Fact. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Kickstarter campaign to buy lost Aphex Twin album surpasses $40,000 (£24,000) mark". NME. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Physical copy of Aphex Twin's 'Caustic Window' raises over £27,000 on eBay". NME. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Blinstein, Jon (24 June 2014). "'Minecraft' Creator Buys Rare Aphex Twin Vinyl for $46,300". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Minsker, Evan (23 June 2014). "Aphex Twin's Caustic Window Test Pressing Picks Up $46,300 on eBay". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Album Review: Aphex Twin – Caustic Window". Consequence of Sound. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (30 June 2014). "Caustic Window - Caustic Window LP". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 

External links[edit]