MOSSING ABOUT: APHEX TWIN – Selected Ambient Works Volume II (1994)

Review by: Jonathan Moss

selected ambient works volume 2

This fucking album is full of bangers, goddamn. Well, they’re not so much bangers as slow moody atmospheric tracks with no beats or really anything like that. Like an early Brian Eno album but a lot more ominous. Trust me, this isn’t Lustmord level shit (fucking terrifying) but it’s still definitely in the area of dark ambient. All the tracks sound vaguely like they could have been written as classical pieces (great melodies and the like) but they’ve been warped by some sort of robot from another planet from us and processed through a series of aesthetic sensibilities we have no knowledge of, depriving us of contextualisation.

Reading back that sounds kind of negative actually but i meant it the fuck as a compliment, this is one of my favourite albums of all time! I love to listen to it and feel the way the warped music sounds, it can give me the sort of vibe perfect for writing something Lovecraftian. It’s music to start a weird Gnostic cult to. Actually nah that’s probably more Current 93 but I could see this music making a decent substitute.

Cliffs” is one of my favourite tracks on the record, its synthesizers have a warm dreary lying on a beanie cushion made of cannabis vibe, but with the texture of a beautiful plant on an alien planet. I love “Rhubarb” as well, it sounds like music that would make the perfect soundtrack for the opening act of a psychological or surreal horror. “Curtains” is great too, it sounds like what a curtain in a David Lynch film at its most avant-garde would sound like, or just the kind of music that would permeate the dust. “Radiator” just straight out sounds like horror music, I’m fond of that one.

So yeah would overall rate this one pretty highly, definitely a classic in the sadly underlooked ambient genre, and broader electronic music as well! It’s the closest you can come to a bad acid trip done safely!