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Aphex Twin
26 MIXES FOR CASH
(WARP)

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Anyone with enough gigabytes on his hard drive and a ProTools program can create studio mash-ups, but not everyone can cut and paste like Richard "Aphex Twin" James. Although his work isnít always easy on the ear, heís consistently been among technoís most innovative and adventuresome auteurs.

On his latest, he delivers two sides of Aphex Twin. Disc one features James in symphonic mode, mixing it up with the likes of Nobukazu Takemura, Seefeel, and Saint Etienne. Heís adept at morphing familiar material into something savage and strange, and his take on Philip Glassís version of David Bowieís "Heroes" is harrowingly Teutonic. In his hands, Gavin Bryarsís "Raising the Titanic" gets pushed along by massive drums and aches with even more pain and desperation than the original did. Disc two displays the glitchier and more difficult side of James, all clangs and bangs and buzzing sounds. Here he deconstructs Curveís "Falling Free," Nine Inch Nailsí "At the Heart of it All," and Wagon Christís "Spotlight." Thrown in to sweeten the pot are two fascinating and previously unreleased Aphex tunes, "Windowlicker (Acid Edit)" and "SAW2 CD1 TRK2 (Original Mix)." No matter how disparate the sources are, Jamesís genius is that he can click through a Rubikís Cube of permutations and still make it all cohere.

BY ELIOT WILDER

Issue Date: June 13 - 19, 2003
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