Aphex Twin - Windowlicker
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Aphex Twin
Windowlicker

For a guy who has supposedly only released 5% of his total output of music, this three-track single sure doesn't feel like much after a year and a half absence of releases. Coming way on the heels of perhaps his most commercially successful release thusfar (The Come To Daddy EP), Mr. James doesn't exactly go the safe route on the new release. While the now-famous video does feature enough silicone implants to get most MTV viewers excited, it was also long enough (10 minutes) that they only played a heavily-beeped version of it a couple times. It put rap videos on a skewer and Richard D. James' face in the spotlight (or above some spotlights--see above picture) again.

The music behind the video of "Windowlicker" is something of an old-school electro jam with its throbbing bass line and light female samples. It sounds more like something that would be pumping out of a low-rider truck than out of a club, but then again, Aphex Twin has always been pretty good at confounding his listeners. In my opinion, it simply isn't too interesting of a track.

The second track that goes by the title of a complex math equation (that I'm not even going to try to duplicate here) also doesn't really show anything interesting either in terms of sound. It's a pitch shifting semi-mess that never really goes anywhere. Actually, the funny thing about the track is that about 1.5 years ago, James played part of it on a show and stated that "it's just some crappy track that I'll probably never release." So, the track circulated on the internet with the very name of "Crappy." Maybe he should have kept his word.

The last track on the disc "Nannou" is the one that makes this release all worthwhile. It begins with what sounds like a music box being wound, then springs into action with multiple layers of said music-box sounds. It's one of those amazing minimal ambient tracks that Aphex Twin is well known for and it puts the louder, more overt songs on the disc to shame with its simple beauty. Overall, the disc is probably worth buying simply for the last track, plus if you have a modem connection you can watch the video through a special encoded link on the disc.

rating: 5.510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00