At this point, it seems rather silly for Richard D. James to continue to beat around the bush, but considering his past prankster ways, it should come as no surprise if The Tuss is indeed new work from him rather than "the discovery of a great new artist via intensive Myspace exploration by the Rephlex A&R department." Part of me thinks that he's simply taking the complete piss while continuing to releases tracks that he already completed ten years ago, and part of me wonders if the reason he hasn't put out anything under his own name in so long is because musically he hasn't progressed all that much in nearly a decade.
In that time, he's released the ahead-of-it's-time Windowlicker EP (which admittingly grew on me) as well as the completely hit-or-miss Drukqs. He also put together a massive series of releases under his AFX moniker (which were then whittled down onto the also-sketchy Chosen Lords). Bringing things back to 2007, it's hard to imagine that The Tuss is anyone other than Richard D. James, given the structure, sounds, and feel of the tracks on Rushup Edge.
While it probably sounds like I'm setting things up for a smackdown, I will say that when this release is hitting on all cylinders, it's pretty damn near impeccable. "Synthacon 9" opens the mini-album and rips through over six minutes of mind-bending electronic music that seems to bring something new into the mix every twenty seconds or so, loping through blistering sections of hand-clapping electro before laying down some juicy acid and even dancing through some mega-filtered vocodored vocal sections. The follower of "Last Rushup 10" is just as solid, again rumbling through over six minutes of chopped-up breaks, gurgling analogue synth warbles, melodic synth passages, and a dark ending that sucks the oxygen out of the room.
Like other recent Aphex Twin releases (assuming it is indeed him), there's also some inconsistency playing out here, mainly by repeating styles and sounds shown earlier. "Death Fuck" is essentially a skittery breakbeat overloaded version of tracks that came before it, without any of the subtlety, while "Goodbye Rute" shows off some gorgeous synth sounds but sounds like something he could have tossed off in thirty minutes or so. Fortunately, "Rushup 1 Bank 12" is another gut-churner, with rave-style builds that lead to stomping blowouts several times in under the course of five minutes. With six songs running just over a half-hour, Rushup Edge will have plenty of moments to knock the socks off fans wanting a bit more more Aphex Twin.