50-worder: Aphex Twin


aphex twin – syro – 9.5

Selected Ambient Works lacked drums. Drukqs lacked sense. I Care Because You Do lacked good voices. Syro fills in the gaps, remaining danceable while being dense and squiggly enough to require killer headphones to part the gauze. Even with shitty earbuds, it astonishes. Finally, Electronic Jesus deserves all those hosannas.

Reminds you of: Autechre / Moby / Radiohead, in its Kid A and Amnesiac phase / Carl Craig


“The holy grail for a music fan, I think, is to hear music from another planet, which has not been influenced by us whatsoever. Or, even better, from lots of different planets. And the closest we got to that was before the Internet, when people didn’t know of each other’s existence. Now, that doesn’t really happen.”

—Richard D. James, in interview, “Strange Visitor: A Conversation with Aphex Twin” (Pitchfork, September 2014)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation, RogerEbert.com, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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