AFX Analord 8 – 11

Richard D. James always had a bit of the deviant in him. His latest attempt to fuck with convention (and your savings account) is to release this 11-volume series of twelve-inch EPs, the Analord series. Due to his wildly innovative past, AFX (the copyright-infringement free version of the Aphex Twin moniker) has stoked some truly unruly expectations to keep reinventing electronic music and pushing things forward, but what most people don’t realise is that James has been merely following his own tuneful vision and keeping it real since day one — the fact that he became known as an innovator in the ’90s is just happy circumstance. The Analord series is further testament to James’s artistic legitimacy — he does what he wants, how he wants, when he wants: trends and fads be damned. As a result, the final four Analord EPs run all over James’s stylistic map; 8 finds him in the laidback, tuneful modes best captured on …I care because you do; 9 is pure AFX-style acid-techno assault; 10 (made special for its Aphex logo picture disc) is James in catchy singles gear, while the electro leaning 11 is closest to his most current, next-level shit, as heard on the outstanding Smojphace and 2 Remixes EPs. AFX sounds like he’s still having a lot of fun making music, so why shouldn’t we have fun listening to it? The beats, melodies and warmth of all his previous work are here in fine form, so the only reason to dislike the Analord project is its costly and awkward packaging scheme. (Rephlex)