After the appearance of previously unreleased Richard D. James’ albums earlier this year, buzz regarding the electronic musician was created, rekindling the flame of wanting more music. Richard D. James seems to have obliged his fans, releasing this first full-length studio album in over 13 years under the Aphex Twin moniker, titled ‘Syro’. The new album reveals another chapter in the electronic music created by James, sounding somewhat similar to previous releases, whilst also offering something new and interesting. It’s an incredible album experience, offering us something a little unexpected, but ultimately satisfying.
At times, ‘Syro’ feels a little bit like an echo of early Richard D. James’ material, perhaps calling back to the early days of ‘Analogue Bubblebath’ or the single release of ‘Windowlicker’. Whilst these echoes are scattered amongst the album, it feels as though the whole crux of the album is something new from the musician. In a world where electronic dub-step dominates the current music scene, Richard D. James shows us what electronic music is really all about, offering us an incredible electric mix of processed beats and synthetic elements, all coming together in an incredibly cohesive and remarkably understandable way. Everything feels fresh and new, showing us even more of what James is capable of as an electronic musician.
Even amongst the hype of a release that’s 13 years following its predecessor, ‘Syro’ feels like an incredible album experience. The album is littered with surprised and unexpected twists and turns, giving it an entertaining and satisfying feel. Even at roughly an hour in length, the whole effort works wonderfully, with there being no weak tracks featured on the album. It’s arguable that the album is perhaps a step above its 2001 predecessor ‘drukqs’. ‘Syro’ feels much fresher and somehow a more enjoyable album experience, that’s perhaps not as inaccessible as some of the music we’ve heard from Richard D. James in the past.
‘Syro’ is a welcome return for Richard D. James, who seems to have settled back into his role of being an electronic music with remarkable comfort and ease. There’s a lot of unexpected elements to ‘Syro’, which keeps its listeners on its toes, and then blows them away with the inclusion of some very unusual tracks (in terms of what one would expect from Richard D. James of course). It’s hard not to enjoy ‘Syro’, which perhaps might not be the album fans were expecting, but still comes across as one that is incredible, enjoyable and very rewarding in its own right. ‘Syro’ is certainly a stand-out album under the Aphex Twin moniker, and we can only hope this is the beginning of new things for Richard D. James.
- ★★★★★ 5/5
- Minipops 67 (Source Field Mix)
- XMAS_EVET10 (Thanaton3 Mix)
- CIRCLONT6A (Syrobonkus Mix)
Aphex Twin’s sixth studio album ‘Syro’ is set for release on 19th September 2014.