"Come on you cunt! Let's have some Aphex acid!"

You didn't actually believe Richard D. James was packing it in, did you? Retirement (which in RDJ's case, probably consisted of laying around smoking weed with Luke Vibert and making tracks like Windowlicker's "Equation" for his own personal enjoyment) simply wasn't going to pacify Mr. James, who hasn't had the catharsis of a full LP since 1996. Critics were starting to take trance seriously. Did you think Rich would let that stand?

It probably wouldn't hurt his wallet to fulfill his Warp contract either.

"Once upon a time there were three bears: Mummy Bear, Daddy Bear and Baby Bear."

As Aphex Twin began to surface from the depths of isolation earlier this year, the rumors swirled. Rich was supposedly releasing a 4-disc album. Or he was going to release some old unreleased stuff, like the wonderful Analogue Bubblebath 5. Or he was already releasing music, under pseudonyms (wouldn't be the first time). A million fake Aphex tracks surfaced, mostly thanks to Napster. The pessimist had to believe that all these bullshit rumors were simply belying the fact that Aphex Twin was over.

"Happy birthday, my little son. My little 28 year-old son!"

And meanwhile, Rich was publicly playing the ocassional DJ set, trying to sell some Rephlex records. (Surfing on Sine Waves) was re-issued. He gave a rare interview or two, spread misinformation, and let it be known that he didn't care much for the hundreds of thousands of fans waiting for his next move. Typical Aphex stuff.

"I'm taking control of the drum machine."

Well then, let the rumors end. drukQs is the new Aphex Twin double album. It is the most anticipated electronic release of the past five years by the genre's most critically acclaimed artist, and it meets every expectation of brilliance. Do yourself a favor and buy it when it comes out in October; it's not a mere electronic album, it's a personal tribute to the quickly fading culture of Cornwall. It's a masterpiece, both in its electroacoustic ambiance and its desperate melodies crying out over frantic beats. The music is awash in unspecific but intense emotion.

"Thank you for your attention. Bye!"

(wanna know what the title means? read it out loud)

The tracklist has been published by NME, and is as follows:

Disc A

Disc B

The double-CD and the quadruple-vinyl versions of drukqs is the album bringing The Twin out of his longest hiatus so far. Weighing in at more than 90 minutes, the tracks are the typical frantic chaos of beats and melodies we have come to love. There are many piano-tracks, as well as some very short tracks with odd noises and a birthday song. Especially recommended are Mt Saint Michel + St Micheals Mount, Taking Control, and 54 Cymru Beats.

The cover art is the inside of a piano, with the letters for "aphex twin" and "drukqs" on various items. Held in brown colors, it is one of the rare covers not to sport his by now well-known facial features. Fans will be spending months reading through welsh and cornish slangbooks to find out what these titles mean.

Despite speculation that Melodies from Mars, CAT023, or Analogue Bubblebath 5 could be present on the release, it is not so. The IDM List was heated with discussion about the supposedly leaked version (which turned out to be legit, two months before the official release).

Thanks to Centurix from the www.joyrex.com BBS for providing translations to many of the words.

Dhagrow = 'dreg'
Gwarek = 'arch'
Gwely = 'bed'
Holon = 'salt'
Hy = 'her'/'she'
Jynweythek = 'electronic machine'
Kernow = 'cornish'
Kesson = 'harmonius'
Lyf = 'deluge'
Mernans = 'death'
Scullyas = 'wastes'/'spills'
Strotha = 'squeeze'
Tynhe = 'tight'/'tighten'
Ylow = 'music'

Cymru = 'Wales'

Audited June 23, 2002

Album: Drukqs
Artist: Aphex Twin
Label: Warp Records
Year: 2001
Rating: 2/5
Summary: Piano solos and eclectic beat based tracks. Redundant.

Depending on how you want to look at it, Drukqs is either diverse or incoherent. It doesn't feel like an album so much as two EPs and a bunch of B-sides taped together.

Drukqs features several piano solos, a first for Aphex Twin. Some of these, such as the beautifully bittersweet Avril 14th, are performed on a traditional grand piano. As nice as it is to hear pretty melodies played over broken chords, there is nothing outstanding about Aphex Twin's piano compositions. Ludovico Einaudi's album Le Onde covers similar ground, only better.

The other piano solos on Drukqs are played on a prepared piano. Although I am not well versed in this instrument, I suspect John Cage already has it pretty well covered.

The fast tracks feature scattered beats and strange synth sounds, but Aphex Twin later improved on this style himself with his next releases, the Analord series and Chosen Lords album.

Gwely Mernans just sounds as if it fell off of Selected Ambient Works Volume II, got lost, and wandered onto this album by mistake.

Most of the remaining tracks sound like random ideas that didn't fit anywhere else, such as pieces of music in a style all of their own, disconcerting background noises, strange sounds, and an answerphone message (although I'm curious as to whether the good people at Warp Records were goodthinkful enough to pay AOL Time Warner for the privilege of including the answerphone message, which features Aphex Twin's parents singing Happy Birthday to You to him).

Drukqs is only for the hardened Aphex Twin fan. Although it isn't bad, it's largely redundant. You'd be better off with Le Onde and Chosen Lords instead.

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