Aphex Twin: "I Care Because You Do" music review


The mad-scientist of electronica – Richard D James aka Aphex Twin – originally released I Care Because You Do in 1995; and now in 2012, that classic electronica album gets a double-lp reissue by way of the 1972 label, who also recently reissued Aphex's Selected Ambient Works Vol. Two on triple lp.

This album's single "Ventolin" stood as one of the more cantankerous tracks that RDJ had recorded up to that point. A harsh, tinnitus-inducing squeal permeates the sequencing of clunky rhythms and dum-dum melodies of that single thumbing its noise at everybody who took the whole Intelligent Dance Music thing way too seriously. At the time, the track was a blatant provocation, and after all these years, it still sticks out as a grotesque distortion, with the album moving somewhat like a palindrome around that track – progressing up to that nasty piece of electronics from more stately and subdued tracks before reversing course.

One of the tracks that brackets "Ventolin" is the majestic "Icct Hedral" which spirals around an orchestration worked out by Phillip Glass for Aphex Twin, with James girding the cauldron of repetitive woodwinds and strings with his trademarked crunching breakbeats and phase-shifting parametric filter sweeps.

The sweaty acid-breakcore track "Come On, You Slags!" is the other bookend to "Ventolin" with more introspective abstractions pooling on either side with plenty of counterpointing rhythmic complexities tossed in for good measure.

It was on this record that the Aphex sense of humor – with its broad spectrum from the strange to the village idiot – first came into its own as a unique facet to Aphex Twin's vocabulary. So much of this work still sounds amazing after all these years, and it's also great to see this on vinyl again finally, too! (Even moreso since it seems the cd version has gone out of print.)

Aphex Twin's "I Care Because You Do" 2lp