#452: 1992, Aphex Twin, Heliosphan

by George_East on April 26, 2012

Strictly speaking Devon and Cornwall week finished with Jackie South’s posting of the Mystery Jets’Lorna Doone. However, as with closing album track week (and indeed my favourite theme week so far, songs about other artists week), I am going to extend the theme by one more song.  It kind of makes sense anyway now that Bobby is posting too.  8 day weeks, mean 2 songs each.

Also if it hadn’t been for Ray North’s controversial posting of  The Surgeons’ I Saw Stan Bowles At B&Q, Devon and Cornwall week would have in fact turned out to be Devon week, which seemed a little imbalanced.

Back at the turn of the 1990s there was only three things I could tell you about Aphex Twin or Richard James, as his Mum knows him:

(1) He was from Cornwall;

(2) He was younger than me – which back then was unusual (and deeply irritating) for a recording artist;

(3) That I didn’t really like his stuff.  Where on earth were the guitars?

Looking back on the late 1980s and early 1990s now, it is obvious that much of innovation in music was coming from hip hop and dance artists, rather than the identikit indie bands that were more to my taste.  As I have written before  my indie/punk purism closed my ears to a lot of this music at the time and I  only really appreciated it properly much later.  The indie-dance crossover of Primal Scream and the Stone Roses was acceptable, they had guitarists after all and looked like proper bands, but purer dance forms I just did not understand.

Aphex Twin channelled Brian Eno‘s 70s ambient sounds (Music For Airports etc) through the prism of the sounds of the rave generation and produced some of the best post-club music ever made.  This is a track from the seminal debut album, Selected Ambient Works 85-92.  A track to be listened to on a long summer’s drive through open spaces on an empty road.  Awe-inspiring and uplifting.

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