After years of seeming self-imposed exile, Aphex Twin’s Richard D. James has unleashed a flurry of activity in recent months. Last year, he released the acclaimed Syro, his first album since 2001’s Drukqs (and winner of the 2015 “Best Dance/Electronic Album” Grammy). But he’s been even busier on Soundcloud: to date, James has posted 173 tracks under the moniker “user48736353001.”
Disquiet’s Marc Weidenbaum — who wrote a book on Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II — has been working through all of the user48736353001 tracks and has created a mix titled “Aphex Twin — Selected Ambient Works 3 (beta)” highlighting some of the best tracks.
Considering that it’s a spiritual followup to Selected Ambient Works Volume II — Weidenbaum explains his reasoning here — the tracks are drifting ambient compositions featuring alien synth tones, metallic reverberations, and other spectral sounds. On the other hand, with it’s playful melodies and scattered percussion, “11 Early Morning Clissold” more closely resembles James’ forays into drum n’ bass and jungle on Richard D. James Album, albeit in a much more stripped down form.