Classics (Aphex Twin album)

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This article is about the Aphex Twin album. For other uses, see Classics (disambiguation).
Classics
Compilation album by Aphex Twin
Released December 1994
Recorded 1990
Genre Acid techno
Hardcore techno
Techno
Length 74:03
Label R&S Records
Producer Richard D. James
Aphex Twin chronology
Selected Ambient Works Volume II
(1994)
Classics
(1994)
Ventolin
(1995)
Alternative cover
Reissue cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Classics is an electronic music compilation album by Richard D. James, more commonly known by his pseudonym of Aphex Twin (credited here as The Aphex Twin). The album was released in December 1994 (see 1994 in music).

The album consists of the Digeridoo and Xylem Tube EPs combined onto one CD with a handful of other songs. The album contains James' signature acid house sensibilities. It mostly features repetitive tracks performed on analogue synthesizers and drum machines, with some rather harsh-sounding remixes of Mescalinum United's "We Have Arrived". It was released by R&S Records following James' success on Warp Records. The track "Phlange Phace" has the track "AFX 114" from another album "Compilation" in it.

A remastered version of the album was released on 2 June 2008. The cover for this reissue resembles that of Selected Ambient Works 85–92, albeit with the black and white inverted.

Background[edit]

As a teenager James gained a cult following being a disc jockey at the Shire Horse Inn in St Ives, with Tom Middleton at the Bowgie Inn in Crantock and along the beaches around Cornwall, learning new musical techniques.[2][3] He studied at Cornwall College from 1988 to 1990 for a National Diploma in engineering. About his studies, he said "music and electronics went hand in hand".[3] James graduated from college; according to an engineering lecturer he often wore headphones during practical lessons, "no doubt thinking through the mixes he'd be working on later".[4]

James' first release as Aphex Twin, later changed to AFX, was the 1991 12-inch EP Analogue Bubblebath on Mighty Force Records. In 1991, James and Grant Wilson-Claridge founded Rephlex Records to promote "innovation in the dynamics of Acid — a much-loved and misunderstood genre of house music forgotten by some and indeed new to others, especially in Britain".[5] From 1991 to 1993 James released two Analogue Bubblebath EPs as AFX and an EP, Bradley's Beat, as Bradley Strider. Although he moved to London to take an electronics course at Kingston Polytechnic, he admitted to David Toop that his electronics studies were being evacuated as he pursued a career in the techno genre. After leaving school James remained in the city, releasing albums and EPs on Warp Records and other labels under a number of aliases (including AFX, Polygon Window and Power-Pill); several of his tracks, released under aliases including Blue Calx and The Dice Man, appeared on compilations. Although he allegedly lived on the roundabout in Elephant and Castle, South London during his early years there, he actually resided in a nearby unoccupied bank.[6][7]

The first full-length Aphex Twin album, Selected Ambient Works 85–92, was released in 1992 on R&S Records to critical praise; John Bush of Allmusic described it as a "watershed of ambient music".[8] In 2002 Rolling Stone said about the album, "Aphex Twin expanded way beyond the ambient music of Brian Eno by fusing lush soundscapes with oceanic beats and bass lines."[9] Pitchfork Media called it "among the most interesting music ever created with a keyboard and a computer".[10] However, critics noted that the songs were recorded on cassette and their sound quality was relatively poor.

In 1992 James also released the Xylem Tube EP and Digeridoo (first played by DJ Colin Faver on London's Kiss FM) as Aphex Twin, the Pac-Man EP (based on the arcade game) as Power-Pill, and two of his four Joyrex EPs (Joyrex J4 EP and Joyrex J5 EP) as Caustic Window. "Digeridoo" reached #55 on the UK Singles Chart, and was later described by Rolling Stone as foreshadowing drum and bass.[11] He wrote "Digeridoo" to clear up his audience after a rave.[3] These early releases were on Rephlex Records, Mighty Force of Exeter and R&S Records of Belgium.[12]

Notes[edit]

  • "Isopropanol" is an extended mix of "Isopropophlex" from James's Analogue Bubblebath. The track time, 6:23, matches that of "Isopropophlex" from the original Digeridoo (EP).
  • "Analogue Bubblebath 1" is extended by a few seconds from its original version, with a different ending.
  • "Tamphex" contains looping samples from a television advertisement for Tampax.
  • This album was chosen as one of Q magazine's 50 heaviest albums of all time in July 2001, noted for its crunching, metallic malevolence.
  • "We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin QQT Mix)" was later re-released on the remix compilation 26 Mixes for Cash.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Richard D. James except where noted

  1. "Digeridoo" – 7:11
  2. "Flaphead" – 7:00
  3. "Phloam" – 5:33
  4. "Isopropanol" – 6:23
  5. "Polynomial-C" – 4:46
  6. "Tamphex (Hedphuq Mix)" – 6:31
  7. "Phlange Phace" – 5:22
  8. "Dodeccaheedron" – 6:08
  9. "Analogue Bubblebath 1" – 4:46
  10. "Metapharstic" – 4:33
  11. "Mescalinum United - We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin QQT Mix)" (Arcadipane, James, Mover) – 4:23
  12. "Mescalinum United - We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin TTQ Mix)" (Arcadipane, Mescalinum United, Mover) – 5:06
  13. "Digeridoo (Live in Cornwall, 1990)" (Richard D. James/Mescalinum United/Mover) – 6:21

Personnel[edit]

  • Aphex Twin – Synthesizer, Producer
  • Richard D. James – Producer
  • The Mover – Producer

Charts[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart 24[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Jordan (9 December 2011). "My Year in Lists: Week Forty-Nine". Review To Be Named. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Robinson, Dave (April 1993). "The Aphex Effect". Future Music. 
  4. ^ Murray, Janet (12 June 2007). "College days". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008. 
  5. ^ Wilson-Claridge, Grant (30 November 1992). "~~~ The definitive RePHLeX ~~~". alt.rave. Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008. 
  6. ^ O'Connell, John (October 2001). "Untitled". The Face. EMAP. Archived from the original on 15 June 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008. 
  7. ^ Toop, David (March 1994). "Lost in space". The Face. EMAP. Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008. 
  8. ^ Bush, John. "Review". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  9. ^ Blashill, Pat (19 November 2002). "Selected Ambient Works 85-92". Rolling Stone. Wenner Publishing. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  10. ^ Pecoraro, David (20 February 2002). "Selected Ambient Works 85-92". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  11. ^ "Biography". The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. 2001. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  12. ^ Hobbs, Mary Anne (6 December 2005). "tracklisting". Mary Anne Hobbs. BBC. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  13. ^ "Chart Stats - The Aphex Twin - Classics". ChartStats.com. Retrieved 30 August 2009.