Analord is a collection of vinyl releases by the famed Richard D. James. The series is separated into twelve vinyl records available through Rephlex. The first to be released was Analord 10, which came in an expensive leather booklet that would fit the entire vinyl collection. Too expensive for my taste, though the music is interesting. From what I've heard of it the series follows his old acid style, sounding similar to the Analogue Bubblebaths. Here is the tracklisting from Rephlex's website.

Analord 01
Steppingfilter 101
Canticle Drawl
MC4 Acid
Where's Your Girlfriend
Grumpy Acid
Analord 158 B

Analord 02
Pissed Up In SE1
Bwoon Dub

Analord 03
Boxing Day
Midievil Rave 1
Midievil Rave 2

Analord 04
Crying In Your Face
Home Made Polysynth
Halibut Acid
Breath March

Analord 05
Reunion 2

Analord 06
Batine Acid
Snivel Chew
I'm Self Employed
2 analogue talks
Analoggins - written by Captain Voafose and Smojphace

Analord 07
lisbon acid
afx acid 04

Analord 08

Analord 09

Analord 10
Fenix Funk5

Analord 11

Artist AFX and Aphex Twin
Label Rephlex
Year 2004, 2005
Rating ★★★☆☆
Summary A mixed bag of quirky music in a unique style.

As is usually the case from Richard D. James, the Analord EPs probably sound inaccessible to newcomers. This time, it's due to his newfound penchant for oddball tuning in addition to his trademark attempts at irritating people, such as spontaneously stopping and starting the music (Pitcard), or making random bleepy noises and labelling them up as fully fledged songs (Analogue Talk (Claknib) and Analogue Talk (Chorus 3)).

Analord is like a raw clump of rock with a few glittering gems in it (I'm Self Employed, PWSteal.Ldpinch.D). The good bits seem even better just because they're next to grating monstrosities. It's hard to tell what's actually bad and what merely hasn't grown on me yet, as Richard D. James's music seldom sounds good to me the first few times I hear it. I'm pretty sure this is a mixed bag with some dire excuses for music mixed in with some great tracks.

Naturally, fanatics have talked at great length about how intelligent all this is, with absolutely no sense of perspective. They discuss the use of esoteric analogue equipment, completely missing the point that what makes James's music so interesting isn't his equipment but his quirky style, with scattered beats, uncomfortable tuning and most of all his juxtaposition of harsh and sublime music, often in the same track.

You should probably work your way up to the Analord series via his earlier albums, so only seriously check these EPs out if you already like the fast, loud tracks off of Drukqs and want a lot more. Although those provide the best reference point I can think of, Analord's tracks are comparatively much darker, atmospheric affairs, especially the brooding melancholy of Analord 02.

If you do decide to buy these EPs, the digital download versions are much better value than their analogue vinyl equivalents, as each release is roughly half the price and most have a few bonus tracks. Just as with their vinyl-bound counterparts, these new cuts range in quality, which is more than can be said for the odd remix you usually get unceremoniously tossed onto the end of a re-released album.

Then again, from what I understand of the placebo effect, how good this music sounds is proportional to how much you paid for it and how nice the packaging looks, in which case the limited edition vinyl records, complete with pretentious looking fake leather binder, are arguably even better value than their almost sensibly priced digital counterparts. That's assuming you're old enough to own a record player.

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