hello folks! our weekly review this week is Selected Ambient Works 85 – 92, the debut record from Aphex Twin! we’ve looked at another Aphex Twin record before, and as i mentioned then, i’ve not listened to much – this’ll be my first time with this particular record!

Xtal kicks things off – can def see why this is the most played track on the record. very ethereal is a soothing way. Tha is tense – a kind of night time vibe, and the vocal sample being buried in the mix with some other sound effects makes it feel like youre walking past conversations you shouldnt or dont want to hear. Pulsewidth is so damn bright, haha. Ageispolis is mellower – playing a lot more with drawing the sounds wayy out, esp in the back half of the track. I is transitional and spacey. Green Calx breaks out of that with much more obviously electronic stuff – feels like this should accompany some late 90s computer renders. Heliosphan does some really interesting stuff – it feels both more conventionally structured and more experimental. v neat. We Are the Music Makers has a nice, higher tone melody that pops up throughout the track thats really pleasant. dig the drums on this one a lot. Schottkey 7th Path is a moodier track – the synth carrying the main melody goes all over the mix here, moving forward and back in neat ways. Ptolemy start strong – extremely dancy between the percussion and low end of the synths, and the higher stuff in the first part feel very softly punchy, if that makes sense. like strong puffs of sound. neat effect, and i like that it drops away and slips back in later. Hedphelym is a moodier, darker song. fun to see what i normally associate with pulsing club beats used in something so atmospheric. Delphium uses a specific combination of toms that reminds of video game jungle levels. extremely charming. Actium closes things out with a song that takes some time to slowly build its layers. not a bombastic finish but i feel like in the context it doesnt really need to be, haha.

faves – Tha, Heliosphan, Ptolemy
dislikes –

i still feel a bit out of my depth chatting deeply about an album like this – i have no experience on the production or composition side, and my listening experience isnt as broad as i’d like. that being said, i can absolutely see why this record put Aphex Twin on the fucking map. extremely tight tracks, huge range in moods and styles, and most importantly an excellent listening experience all the way through.

Selected Ambient Works 85 – 92 – 8/10

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be taking a look at Run the Jewels 3, from Run the Jewels! i’ll be back on Friday, May 17th, with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)