Aphex Twin - Syro (Vinyl)

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Syro is the sixth studio album by Aphex Twin, the alias of Irish/British electronic musician Richard D. James, released on 19 September 2014 on Warp. It was James's first album under the Aphex Twin name since Drukqs (2001) and his first album under any name since Rushup Edge (2007) as The Tuss.

The album was recorded over several years on a wide range of equipment setups. Described by James as "my pop album, or as poppy as it's going to get", it incorporates styles such as techno, synth-funk, breakbeats, acid house and jungle as well as edited vocal samples of James and his family. The artwork features a detailed list of its production and promotional costs. 

LP pressing on 3xLP gatefold 180-gram vinyl. 

Low on frenetics,  Syro is anchored by rotund and agile basslines that zip and glide, and it's decked in accents and melodies that are lively even at their most distressed. It also flows easily, a notion epitomized by the sequencing of "XMAS_EVET10 [Thanaton3 Mix]" and "Produk 29," where a mesmerizing combination of snaking low-end synthesizers (10:31, not 12:24 in length) is trailed by an avant-rap body mover that bears some resemblance to Dabrye's lithe and sprightly early releases. Components of certain tracks, like the squiggled Mr.Fingers spin-cycle bassline in "4 bit 9d api+e+6" and scrambled rhythms of "CIRCLONT6A [Syrobonkus Mix]," make the album seem like a bright progression from the Analord releases. Apart from the straight-ahead slamming drums in "180db_," the most striking aspect of Syro is the funkiness of its synthesizers relative to James' previous output. His playing here is far too fidgety to be grafted onto the likes of "You Dropped a Bomb on Me," "You're the One for Me," and "Just Be Good to Me," though some of the lines in, uh, the title cut, have that grimace-triggering quality. Only a trace of the indiscriminate sequencing and stylistic switch-ups heard on Drukqs remains. It's saved for the end, with a rather elegant, part-drum'n'bass excursion as the penultimate number, followed by a placid piano-only piece in the vein of those heard on the 2001 album. These tracks actually enhance, rather than hinder, one of James' most inviting and enjoyable releases.

By: Andy Kellman.

A1 Minipops 67 (source field mix)
A2 XMAS_EVET10 (thanaton3 mix)
A3 Produk 29
B1 4 bit 9d api+e+6
B2 180db

B3 CIRCLONT6A (syrobonkus mix)
C1 Fz pseudotimestretch+e+3
C2 CIRCLONT14 (shrymoming mix)
D1 Syro u473t8+e (piezoluminescence mix)
D2 PAPAT4 (pineal mix)
E1 S950tx16wasr10 (earth portal mix)
F1 Aisatsana

Catalogue Number: WARPLP 247

Record Label: Warp 

Producer: Richard D. James