|Producer||Richard D. James, Tom Middleton|
|Richard D. James chronology|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Analogue Bubblebath is the first release by ambient and techno musician Richard D. James. The EP was released in September 1991 by Mighty Force Records, under the alias The Aphex Twin. It is the first release in what became the Analogue Bubblebath series. The initial pressing was 1000 copies, which sold out in less than a week; it was followed by further pressings of several thousand.
Mark Darby, a promoter and owner of the Mighty Force record shop, had been given a C90 tape of James' music by Tom Middleton and was eager to release music from it. James was very reluctant to release a record on the label. Darby has stated that it took "about 3 months" to convince James to release it. James preferred to keep his music exclusively for playing at his performances, similar to the use of dubplates in sound system culture. Reportedly, James was only convinced to release a record at all because he was under the influence of acid at the time.
The original record was mastered from the C90 tape onto a Betamax F1 tape. The initial pressing of 1000 copies was distributed by friends of Darby's, taking the record to record shops around London, and it quickly sold out. Further pressings of several thousand followed soon after.
The music varies from Detroit-influenced ambient techno, to hardcore techno. The track "Isopropophlex" uses samples from the arcade game Berzerk, along with a flanged and filtered voice sample. The musician and producer Tom Middleton collaborated on "En Trance to Exit" under the pseudonym Schizophrenia.
The record went on to be hugely influential. Its title track was described as a "redrawing of ambient techno aesthetics" by Rolling Stone,, while critic Simon Reynolds suggested its "hazy-yet-crystalline production... announced a new softcore direction in techno — meditational, melodically-intricate and ambient-tinged". James' friend and fellow producer Tom Middleton discussed how the track is "like pure emotion in sound", while musician and DJ Ellen Allien called it "a classic tune by the best electronic producer in the world." Influential publication Mixmag called it "one of the most perfect tracks ever written". It is frequently cited as one of the best compositions in James' extensive discography. In contrast to the ambient sound of "Analogue Bubblebath", the industrial, menacing sound of "Isopropophlex" has been described as "astringent" and suggestive of "a nasty corrosive fluid".
The record created a buzz in the UK about Aphex Twin, and immediately won acclaim, quickly earning the artist a cult following. It received airplay and was on the playlist of influential London radio station Kiss FM. Critic Ira Robbins, writing in 1997, referred to its "aggressively sequenced dance rhythms [which] underpin the synthesized squonks, plonks and samples"
The tracks "Analogue Bubblebath" and "Isopropophlex" can also be found on the R&S Records compilation Classics. The EP was reissued by TVT Records in the US in 1994, on both CD and 12" vinyl format. "Isopropophlex" appears in a longer form titled "Isopropanol", and "Analogue Bubblebath" is extended by a few seconds of additional ending, entitled "Analogue Bubblebath I".
- "Analogue Bubblebath" – 4:41
- "Isopropophlex" – 5:20
- "En Trance to Exit" – 4:22
- "AFX 2" – 5:26
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1. AFX – Analogue Bubblebath (1991)
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01. The Aphex Twin ‘Analogue Bubblebath’ (Mighty Force, 1991)
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