Collapse (EP)

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Collapse
Collapse (EP).jpg
EP by Aphex Twin
Released 14 September 2018
Genre
Length 28:52
Label Warp
Producer Richard D. James
Aphex Twin chronology
Houston, TX 12.17.16
(2016)
Collapse
(2018)

Collapse is an extended play by British electronic musician Richard D. James under the pseudonym Aphex Twin. It was released on 14 September 2018 on Warp. The extended play received universal acclaim from music critics, who praised James for returning to his signature "Aphex Twin sound".

Release[edit]

In late July 2018, stylised Aphex Twin logo posters appeared in London's Elephant and Castle station.[3] By August, the same logo was found in various cities, such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Tokyo. At the same time, a since-removed Amazon listing for Collapse stated the release date to be 14 September 2018.

On 5 August 2018, Warp Records issued a press release via Twitter; an image of a document digitally obscured with the same Aphex Twin logo found days earlier. When edited, the document contained nonsensical, rambling sentences, such as "Y'wd Aphex Twin The legendary summer for this summer of love! love epoch, global phenomlomenamental", including words written in Cornish, similar to track titles from James' 2001 album Drukqs.[4]

On 7 August 2018, Adult Swim was scheduled to broadcast a track from Collapse, but ultimately cancelled as the track's music video failed the Harding test.[5] The music video for "T69 collapse" was released later that day through the Aphex Twin YouTube channel,[6] with Warp Records stating the music video, as well as the metropolitan logo posters, were created by London-based video designer Weirdcore.[7][8] Weirdcore told Fast Company's DJ Pangburn that to make the "T69 Collapse" video, he processed collaged 3D scans of Cornwall using Transfusion.AI, an After Effects plugin with machine learning algorithms that recompose images or video based on another media's style.[9] Pre-orders for vinyl, CD and cassette copies of Collapse were made available on this day via the Aphex Twin store page,[10] and online store Bleep.[11]

The EP leaked on 13 August 2018.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic83/100[13]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[14]
Consequence of SoundA−[15]
Drowned in Sound8/10[16]
Exclaim!8/10[17]
The Line of Best Fit8/10[18]
NME4/5 stars[19]
Pitchfork8.1/10[1]
PopMatters8/10[20]
Resident Advisor4/5 stars[2]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[21]

Collapse was met with universal acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 reviews from mainstream critics, the extended play received an average score of 83, based on 12 reviews.[13] Most critics noted the release for incorporating trademark Aphex Twin sounds similar to his previous releases.[14][20] Paul Simpson from AllMusic lauded the "ironically titled" record which showcases a return to Aphex Twin's signature "ultra-glitchy beats and childlike melodies",[14] contrary to Robert Ham from Consequence of Sound who was less impressed with the familiarity and lack of surprise and shock in the songs. Alternatively, he praised the element of control within the tracks which came to "recognizable signatures at the center of the entropic sound that seems to be coming apart in real time."[15]

The individual tracks on Collapse were received positively by critics, with Daryl Keating of Exclaim! labelling the songs as "absolute gems" and Carlos Hawthorn from Resident Advisor feeling that each track had "moments abstract enough to grab your attention and human enough to keep it."[17][2] Writing for NME, Tom Connick described the EP as "music for Mad Max's post-apocalyptic parties [...] a mad-hatter's box of tricks, blown up and reconstructed" and called it Aphex Twin's "most essential" release in years.[19] Slant Magazine's Josh Geller was surprised with how "warm and inviting" Collapse sounds, whose "dense bursts of intricate glitch to expansive, ambient soundscapes" makes it feel like an "elaborate musical journey than its mere five tracks."[21]

Critics also compared the EP to Aphex Twin's 2014 album, Syro: Andy Cush from Spin found Collapse matching closely to the ambition and strutural shifts found in the album, while Spyros Statis of PopMatters wrote that the EP "interchanges the Syro sound with a range of dissonant ideas and disfigured rhythmic patterns."[22][20] Cush later adknowledged that Collapse is more willing to "follow those shifts to even more hazardous locales"; most songs start at "relative normalcy" before moving "growing out of control" and breaking down.[22] The Line of Best Fit's Jack Bray instead compared Collapse to Aphex Twin's preceding EP, Cheetah, feeling that Collapse was a more confident release than the latter despite lasting for a shorter period. He particularly praised the musical arrangement on the EP, which he observed was "packed with ideas" and "represents some of the finest and most varied to be found across any of [Aphex Twin's] projects".[18] Pitchfork's Philip Sherburne saw that unlike Aphex Twin's previous releases, the music on Collapse "moves on a wider scale" with a "real sense of violence", but manages to stay "relatively unscathed" due to Twin's mastery of "juggling precision and chaos".[1]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."T69 collapse"5:22
2."1st 44"6:09
3."MT1 t29r2"6:04
4."abundance10edit[2 R8's, FZ20m & a 909]"6:20
5."pthex"4:57
Total length:28:52

Notes

  • "pthex" does not appear on the vinyl version of Collapse.
aphextwin.warp.net exclusive track
No.TitleLength
6."t69 collapse [durichroma]"6:39
Total length:35:31

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[23] 28
Scottish Albums (OCC)[24] 7
UK Albums (OCC)[25] 11
UK Dance Albums (OCC)[26] 4
US Billboard 200[27] 113
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[28] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sherburne, Philip. "Aphex Twin – Collapse EP". Pitchfork. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c Hawthorn, Carlos. "Aphex Twin – Collapse EP". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  3. ^ Snapes, Laura (30 July 2018). "Mystery images at tube station hint at new Aphex Twin album". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2018. 
  4. ^ "Warp Records on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 7 August 2018. 
  5. ^ "Aphex Twin's Adult Swim Premiere Canceled for Failing Epilepsy Test | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 7 August 2018. 
  6. ^ "Aphex Twin – T69 Collapse". 7 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018. 
  7. ^ "APHEX TWIN – COLLAPSE EP – ARTWORK". weirdcore.tv. Retrieved 8 August 2018. 
  8. ^ "APHEX TWIN – COLLAPSE VIDEO". weirdcore.tv. Retrieved 8 August 2018. 
  9. ^ "How Aphex Twin's "T69 Collapse" video used a neural network for hallucinatory visuals". Fast Company. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  10. ^ "Aphex Twin – Collapse EP. Vinyl EP, CD. Aphex Twin". Retrieved 8 August 2018. 
  11. ^ "Aphex Twin – Collapse EP. Vinyl EP, CD. Bleep". Retrieved 8 August 2018. 
  12. ^ "Aphex Twin : Collapse EP album download". hasitleaked.com. Retrieved 14 August 2018. 
  13. ^ a b "Reviews for COLLAPSE [EP] by Aphex Twin". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 September 2018. 
  14. ^ a b c Simpson, Paul. "Aphex Twin – Collapse". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 September 2018. 
  15. ^ a b Ham, Robert. "Aphex Twin Simmers and Boils on the Remarkable Collapse EP". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 11 September 2018. 
  16. ^ Turner-Heffer, Adam (14 September 2018). "Ep Review: Aphex Twin - Collapse". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  17. ^ a b Keating, Daryl. "Aphex Twin – Collapse". Exclaim!. Retrieved 13 September 2018. 
  18. ^ a b Bray, Jack. "Aphex Twin's Collapse EP is an unmissable return to form". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 13 September 2018. 
  19. ^ a b Connick, Tom. "Aphex Twin – 'Collapse' EP review". NME. Retrieved 13 September 2018. 
  20. ^ a b c Stasis, Spyros. "'Collapse' Is Another Testament to Aphex Twin's Brilliance". PopMatters. Retrieved 13 September 2018. 
  21. ^ a b Goller, Josh. "Aphex Twin – Collapse". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 6 September 2018. 
  22. ^ a b Cush, Andy (18 September 2018). "Aphex Twin's Surprisingly Ambitious Collapse EP Proves He's as Restless As Ever". Spin. Archived from the original on 19 September 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2018. 
  23. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2018-09-24" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Official Dance Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  27. ^ "{{{artist}}} Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  28. ^ "{{{artist}}} Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 September 2018.