Drukqs (stylised as drukQs) is the fifth studio album by Aphex Twin, a pseudonym used by English electronic musician Richard D. James. The album is a double album and peaked at number 22 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 11,476 copies in its first week of release. It was released to divided reception, with many critics dismissing it relative to his earlier work. It would be James's final album as Aphex Twin until 2014's Syro.
Drukqs contains tracks dating back "seven or eight years", according to James. The LP is a double album featuring roughly two types of tracks: computer-controlled piano pieces (influenced by Erik Satie and John Cage) and abrasive, fast, meticulously-programmed songs. Many track names are written in Cornish—for example, "Jynweythek" ("Machine")—or are coded titles. James has stated that the title is not related to drugs, and is "just a word [he] made up"; he added "I never wanted to big up any drugs, because I don't reckon they deserve it."
James claimed that he released the album primarily to circumvent a potential leak after he accidentally left behind an MP3 player containing about 180 unreleased tracks on a plane: "I thought, 'They're gonna fucking come on the internet sooner or later so I may as well get an album out of it first.'" He intended it to be his final release as part of his contract with Warp. About the album's two-disc length, James said "the way I listen to music now is that I buy a CD, put it on the computer and just take the tracks I want anyway. I’d hope that people would do the same with this CD."
Of the album's complex drum programming, James said "it's quite similar to guitar solos, only with programming you have to use your brain. The most important thing is that it should have some emotional effect on me, rather than just, 'Oh, that's really clever.'" He added that "A lot of [the tracks] are quite old-style sounding, I reckon. I’ve done loads of tracks which are really new in style and which don’t sound like anything else but I didn’t want to release those tracks."
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 66, based on 21 reviews. On its 2001 release Alex Needham of NME called it "beautiful" and "bulging with goodies". For Spin however, Simon Reynolds criticised the album as "unimpressive" and "trapped by [its] potential for infinitesimal tweakage," stating that it "sounds merely like a slight extension of the Aphex sound circa 1996's Richard D. James LP and 1997's Come to Daddy." Pat Blashill of Rolling Stone called it his "most irrelevant album to date", and added "rumor has it that James merely loaded this record with outtakes that have been eating up space on his hard drive for years, then released the album as a deal-breaker with his label, Warp."Pitchfork described its "drill'n'bass" tracks as "throwbacks to the past rather than prospects on the future; and for all of their compositional strength, there's an element of the Aphex Twin mystique missing." Later, critic Sasha Frere-Jones of Rolling Stone declaimed that "weirdly dismissed by many, Drukqs is often spectacular".