In a rare double-blessing, the last two years have given us not only a new album by My Bloody Valentine but another artist iconic of the ’90s, Aphex Twin. Syro plays as a collection of just about everything Richard Davis James does best, fusing jungle beats to gorgeous ambient tapestries on stunning opener “Minipops 67 [120.2][Source Field Mix],” taking us through dense synth explorations on tracks like the 10-minute “Xmas_Evet10 [Thanaton3 Mix]” and vibing off hip-hop and synth funk on “Produk 29 .” Vocals appear now and then (from James and his family), offering skewed, incomprehensible chatter that adds to the liveliness of “Produk 29 ” and giving “Minipops 67 [120.2][Source Field Mix]” its grabbing human element, pulling you into the rest of the album. Though he used some 138 pieces of equipment and shifted his set up every few minutes while recording Syro, that seems to have had an energizing effect on James, and the result is a sharp, if varied piece of work that hangs together beautifully, flowing from scenic but heady pieces like “4 Bit 9d Api+E+6 [126.26]” to hard-hitting bass tracks such as “180db_ .” There aren’t many shocking moments on Syro like, say, “Come to Daddy’s” shrieking wail, nor does it push listeners to their extreme limit like the challenging Drukqs did, but accessibility doesn’t mar Syro. Rather, even despite their straight-off-the-hard-drive titles, tracks like “Papat4 [Pineal Mix]” are really breathtaking pieces of music, designed for immersion rather than to filter listeners out. Just like mbv, we had no right to expect Syro would be this good, much less that it would be released at all, which makes it all the better. Simply put, it’s one of the most instantly enjoyable collections of music James has ever released.
Come down to any Amoeba store on Sunday, September 21 at 3pm to hear the new Aphex Twin album, Syro, in its entirety before it's officially released Tuesday, 9/23 on Warp Records! Syro is the first new album by Richard D. James in 13 years and is one of the most anticipated new releases this fall. While you're soaking in the new album at our listening parties, be sure to pick up some free Aphex Twin goodies (while supplies last, of course).
Syro is also available for pre-order here on Amoeba.com and it'll ship FREE to the U.S.!
Out Sept. 23
The Internet pretty much exploded when Richard D. James announced Syro, and with good reason. It’s the ambient/electronic artist’s first album in 13 years, and from the sound of the glorious “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]” (OMG vocals), it’ll have been worth the wait.
Out Sept. 23
With two proper albums, five mixtapes, one EP and a slew of singles, The Glitch Mob are LA's beat scene rulers. The electro champions have remixed everyone from Daft Punk to The White Stripes to TV On The Radio. Their most recent full-length, Love Death Immortality, came out in February of this year on their own imprint, Glass Air. A quick look at their tour schedule and it's easy to see the Mob is in high demand. You can catch them performing out in the desert at Coachella April 11 & 18.
The Glitch Mob stopped by Amoeba Hollywood recently for some record digging. The guys picked up some really cool Drum & Bass, Hip Hop and Dub albums, kicking things off with Portishead's 1997 self-titled classic on vinyl. They follow it up with Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 and ATLiens by Atlanta's biggest Hip Hop export and fellow Coachella artist, Outkast. They also share some of their influences, including Dieselboy, King Tubby, and Nine Inch Nails. Check out the full episode for all their picks.
Why release Jersey-inspired house when you can reissue the real thing? The “Meat Mixx” and “NYC Dub” of this Whitehead/Murk collaboration are compiled here, along with present-day remixes. The original NYC Dub is a transcendent example of American garage house - all vocal cutups, pristine piano, swung drums and organ steps.The Meat Mixx makes full-use of Whitehead’s powerhouse ( vocals. A1, the remix by Willie Graff and Tucillo provides an airier interpretation of the NYC Dub’s organ stabs and Whitehead’s soaring vocals, and adds a subtle acidic squelch. The Florian Kruse mix has a classic Strictly Rhythm vibe while Max Jacobson takes a deeper approach - looping a wordless sample of Whitehead’s vocal, but buoying the track with live-sounding bongos. Great release!
Purchase Under My Spell
Their status as LA’s premier live dance/balaeric/kraut/? band cemented, the group of talented producers and music nerds (Pharoahs’ core consists of former Amoeba employee Sam Cooper, Dublab dude Ale Cooper and rising producer Suzanne Kraft) make the move to fellow diviner Lovefingers’ label for their most realized effort yet. “Ahumba” is named after surfer Cooper’s dream beach in Zanzibar - and the song reworks windswept digital beauty of the Innovative Communications label for the dancefloor. Sublime guitar arpeggiations color the tropical tracks. “If It Ever Feels Right” is a live staple that never comes out quite the same - a testament to the massive amount of improv that makes Pharaohs such an exciting group. The basis of the track is a descending Juno 60 arpeggio - delayed uptown sax, a far-off pad and varied percussion fill this out into perhaps the most floor-friendly track on the record. The insistent bassline eventually ends up scoring some light jacking and zonked sax-work worthy of Roland P. Young. Island Time successfully focuses on rhythm rather than the synth acrobats of the other tracks, bringing the tide back out for this great EP.