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Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume II ( 94, 155min ^ 318mb)
Richard David James ( August 18, 1971) grew up in Lanner, Cornwall, England, enjoying, along with two older sisters a "very happy" childhood during which they, according to James, "were pretty much left to do what they wanted. He liked growing up there (near Lands end), being cut off from the city and the rest of the world.
As a child he experimented on the strings and hammers of the family piano. According to Benjamin Middleton, James started producing music at the age of 12. As a teenager he DJ ed at the Shire Horse in St Ives, with Tom Middleton at the Bowgie Inn in Crantock, and also along the numerous beaches around Cornwall. From age 16 to 18 James studied for a National Diploma in Engineering from 1988 to 1990 in Cornwall College. James describing his course said "music and electronics went hand in hand".
Richard James's first record was the 12-inch EP Analogue Bubblebath released as AFX, the track "En Trance to Exit" was made with Tom Middleton aka Schizophrenia. In 1991 James formed Rephlex Records with his friend Grant Wilson-Claridge to promote: "Innovation in the dynamics of Acid - Between 1991 and 1993, James released two Analogue Bubblebath EPs under the name of AFX and a Bradley Strider EP under "Bradley Strider". He would also record tracks during this time that appeared on his later releases. James moved to London to take an electronics course at Kingston Polytechnic, but his electronics studies slipped away as a career in the techno business took precedence. After quitting his course, James remained in London and released a number of albums and EPs on Warp Records and other labels under many aliases, including AFX, Polygon Window, and Power-Pill.
The first full-length Aphex Twin album, Selected Ambient Works 85-92, was released in 1992 on R&S Records. It got good reviews not withstanding the fact that the recordings were at times of cassette quality, but thats hardly surprising as he was 14 years old in 85. Anyway, he put to music the world around him, lush landscapes with oceanic beats and added bass lines.
In 1992, he also released the Xylem Tube EP and Digeridoo as Aphex Twin, as Power-Pill the Pac-Man EP based on the arcade game Pac-Man, and two of his four Caustic Window EPs.
In 1993, Aphex released his third installment in the Analogue Bubblebath series, an ambient single On, his second Bradley Strider EP, two more Caustic Window EPs, and his first releases on Warp Records, Surfing on Sine Waves and Quoth under the alias Polygon Window. Warp Records pressed and released a follow-up to SAW85-92, Selected Ambient Works Volume II in 1994. The sound was much less beat-driven than the previous volume. James stated that these songs were inspired by lucid dreams and synesthesia. 1994 would also include a string of other releases including his fourth Analogue Bubblebath, GAK, derived from early demos sent to Warp Records and Classics, a compilation album that includes the Digeridoo single
Two months later, James released the single "Ventolin," a harsh, appropriately wheezing ode to the asthma drug on which he relied. I Care Because You Do followed in April, pairing his hardcore experimentalism with more symphonic ambient material, aligned with the work of many post-classical composers -- including Philip Glass, who arranged an orchestral version of the album's "Icct Hedral" on the August 1995 single Donkey Rhubarb. Later that year, the Hangable Auto Bulb EP replaced Analogue Bubblebath 3 as Aphex Twin's most brutal, uncompromising release -- a fusion of experimental music and jungle being explored at the same time on releases by Plug and Squarepusher. In July 1996, Rephlex released the long-awaited collaboration between Richard James and Michael Paradinas (µ-Ziq). " Expert Knob Twiddlers".
The fourth proper Aphex Twin album, November 1996's Richard D. James Album, continued his forays into acid-jungle and experimental music. James' next two releases, 1997's Come to Daddy EP and 1999's Windowlicker EP, were acid storms of industrial drum'n'bass. The accompanying videos, both directed by Chris Cunningham, featured the bodies of small children and female models (respectively) dancing around, all with special-effects-created Aphex Twin faces grinning maniacally
With very little advance warning, another LP, Drukqs, finally arrived in late 2001, his most personal album yet, a 2-CD album which featured prepared piano songs influenced by Erik Satie and John Cage. It is notable that many of the tracks names are written in the Cornish language (e.g. 'jynweythek' translatable as 'machinemusic'). Also included were abrasive, fast and meticulously programmed computer-made songs. Although James continued making frequent DJ appearances, he released no more material until 2005, when Rephlex issued the first installment in a lengthy, 11-part series of 12" singles titled Analord. For the series James used his extensive collection of Roland drum machines which he bought when they were still at bargain prices.The singles' minimalist acid techno harked back to his Caustic Window/Analogue Bubblebath material of the early '90s. Chosen Lords, a CD compilation of some of the Analord material, appeared in April 2006.
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume II-I (flac 273mb)
01 - Cliffs (7:27)
02 - Radiator (6:34)
03 - Rhubarb (7:44)
04 - Hankie (4:39)
05 - Grass (8:55)
06 - Mold (3:31)
07 - Curtains (8:51)
08 - Blur (5:08)
09 - Weathered Stone (6:54)
10 - Tree (9:58)
11 - Domino (7:18)
12 - White Blur 1 (2:38)
Volume II differs significantly from the first volume in the series, in that the first volume is mostly beat-oriented, with complex instrumental rhythmic patterns and heavy bass frequencies. In contrast to the fast, club-inspired ambient music of its predecessor, Volume II consists of slow, moody pieces, performed much like ambient pioneer Brian Eno; e.g. "[lichen]" is reminiscent of Eno's Discreet Music. Many of the tracks feature almost no percussion, and have strong synth textures. James said that the album is "like being in a power station on acid."
Richard D. James has stated in interviews that the sounds in this music were inspired by lucid dreams, and that upon awaking, he would attempt to re-create the sounds and record them. He claimed that he has natural synaesthesia, which contributed to this album.
Volume II originally consisted of 25 songs, all untitled except for the song "Blue Calx." Every song matches with a specific photograph taken by James himself (except for a solid blue emblem representing the first track of the second CD, "Blue Calx"). The graphics are part of an encoded track-listing system that uses circles and pie diagrams—present in varying forms among the different releases—to represent each track.The lack of written titles for the tracks on this release provided impetus for fans of the album to come up with their own. Officially, however, the songs are still referred to by their track numbers.
There were several editions of SAW2 available for purchase. The most complete, with all 25 tracks, were the Limited Edition UK vinyl, which was pressed on brown vinyl and limited to a press run of 10,000 copies and the UK cassette edition, released simultaneously with the vinyl and CD. The second most complete versions are the regular vinyl release and the Warp Records (UK) CD release, which has every track except for "[stone in focus]", omitted due to the capacity limit of the CD format. The only hard-copy digital form of it can be found on the Astralwerks compilation Excursions In Ambience: The Third Dimension.
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume II-II (flac 296mb)
01 - Blue Calx (7:20)
02 - Parallel Stripes (8:00)
03 - Shiny Metal Rods (5:33)
04 - Grey Stripe (4:45)
05 - Z Twig (2:05)
06 - Windowsill (7:16)
07 - Hexagon (5:57)
08 - Lichen (4:15)
09 - Spots (7:09)
10 - Tassels (7:30)
11 - White Blur 2 (11:27)
12 - Matchsticks (5:39)
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