Album: Drukqs
Artist: Aphex Twin
Label: Warp Records
Year: 2001
Rating: 2/5
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.