Artist: Aphex Twin
Label: Warp Records
Summary: Piano solos and eclectic beat based tracks. Redundant.
Depending on how you want to look at it, Drukqs is either diverse
or incoherent. It doesn't feel like an album so much as two EPs and
a bunch of B-sides taped together.
Drukqs features several piano solos, a first for Aphex Twin. Some
of these, such as the beautifully bittersweet Avril 14th, are performed
on a traditional grand piano. As nice as it is to hear pretty
melodies played over broken chords, there is nothing outstanding
about Aphex Twin's piano compositions. Ludovico Einaudi's album Le
Onde covers similar ground, only better.
The other piano solos on Drukqs are played on a prepared piano.
Although I am not well versed in this instrument, I suspect John
Cage already has it pretty well covered.
The fast tracks feature scattered beats and strange synth sounds,
but Aphex Twin later improved on this style himself with his next
releases, the Analord series and Chosen Lords album.
Gwely Mernans just sounds as if it fell off of Selected Ambient Works
Volume II, got lost, and wandered onto this album by mistake.
Most of the remaining tracks sound like random ideas that didn't fit
anywhere else, such as pieces of music in a style all of their own,
disconcerting background noises, strange sounds, and an answerphone
message (although I'm curious as to whether the good people at Warp
Records were goodthinkful enough to pay AOL Time Warner for the
privilege of including the answerphone message, which features Aphex
Twin's parents singing Happy Birthday to You to him).
Drukqs is only for the hardened Aphex Twin fan. Although it isn't
bad, it's largely redundant. You'd be better off with Le Onde and
Chosen Lords instead.