Here are some albums from 2014 that I enjoyed in 2014. Ranking everything in one list would be arbitrary, so I didn’t. There’s a Spotify megamix containing some of the songs I mention, and some I don’t, here. Continue reading 20 in 14
For anyone with more than a casual acquaintance with Aphex Twin‘s 1990s output, the first hearing of “minipops 67 [120.2] (source field mix)” is a sobering experience. There’s the healthy dose of weirdness—disembodied voices, a constantly shifting structure, wonky tunings and a random diversion into jungle—that denotes this is the work of Richard D. James. But there’s also a classical sense of proportion and beauty—think of those celestial synths, the timely intervention of piano—that feels unexpected, and unexpectedly comforting. Continue reading Our love, our music
Reading Mark Richardson‘s latest Resonant Frequency column, which is all about BASS, and our perceptions of and reactions to it, I was charmed to learn that his favourite song of all time is Aphex Twin’s “Flim“. It’s a gorgeous composition from a musician who often prefers to alarm the listener, and it also represents electronic music at its most elegantly sequenced—calculated, even.
Thinking about “Flim” in such a way made me jump to maths, and from there to Spoon’s “My Mathematical Mind“, which is the rigid arithmetic to Aphex Twin’s differential equation. Or, if you consider the way it builds and grows and complexifies, it’s more like an exponential function.
No verse or chorus in sight, Britt Daniel plies layer upon layer as the song wears on, rocketing it skyward at an ever-increasing pace. Atop an octave-jumping piano drone, we get skronky guitar-work, frazzled brass and crashing percussion. And then, right at the end, the elements coalesce and the track coalesces into serenity, like the eventual solving of an equation. How very mathematical indeed.