Selected Ambient Works 85 - 92 / Aphex Twin
Very end of 80’s, Rave culture was start getting huge popularity in UK and it become massive youth movement of their generation. illegal rave party was held all over the country and DJ introduced House music imported from USA. Soon after House was adopted into various genre of music, band like Primal Scream, Happy Mondays produced groovy rock tunes and even indie kids start dancing.
in 1992, while this movement was still at its peak, “Selected Ambient Works 85 - 92” was released.
Songs were produced in a bedroom studio located UK’s country town Cornwall by Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin, later he earned cult popularity by his one and only music style and bizarre behavior, but what we can hear from this album is his young pure passion and uncontrollable urge of making music (he has mentioned that he used to make at least 3 songs everyday).
Word “Ambient” was still new to young music listeners but this album has strong enough impact to grab listeners attention especially who can’t fit himself into crazy rave scene or club culture. Beat was strongly influenced by Detroit techno but sounds on top were rather soft and deep with lots of reverb, each songs has beautiful melodies instead of using short loops, those essence were clearly different from popular dance tunes at that time and has some kind of similarities with band like My Bloody Valentine.
Soon later Warp released compilation album, “Artificial Intelligence” and introduce home listening electronic music to wider audience and Aphex Twin kept changing his music style on every album, but this album was a blue print of new electronic music of our era and still stays top of it.
Quality of recording is not fantastic compare to electronic music nowadays. Computer was not existed in most bedroom studio at that time so what you can hear is sound of hardware synthesizers and tape noise, it sounds lot more human and warm compare to tunes produced in a computer.
This is one album I strongly recommend to young music listeners.