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Artist The Tuss
Label Rephlex
Year 2007
Rating ★★★★★
Summary Manic percussion, brooding melancholy. A logical extension of Analord.

After the eleven hit and miss Analord EPs, it's good to hear Richard D. James get back on track, even if he's felt the need to assume yet another alias to do so. Calling himself The Tuss this time, he's released Confederation Trough EP and an album of about the same modest length, Rushup Edge. I'm ignoring the EP until it comes out as a sensibly priced download, so on with the album review.

Rushup Edge combines the melancholic atmosphere of Analord 02 (Goodbye Rute) with the manic percussion of Analord 10 (Last Rushup 10, Rushup I Bank 12). So far so good. He's even managed to shed some of his more annoying Analord habits, such as stopping and starting the music in the middle and calling minute long snippets of bleepy sounds music.

Rushup I Bank 12 is a standout track. It features manipulated and detuned samples of the kind of piano playing that electronic music is rarely treated to, coupled with James's signature manic percussion. This combination makes for the kind of track that insists you drink copious amounts of caffeine, crank up the volume and start air drumming until you accidentally hurt yourself (yes, I've done this).

The problem with liking any of James's music is that it becomes difficult to be satisfied with anything else. James combines his unique style of note programming, choice of sounds, manipulation, destruction, idiosyncratic song structure and plain incorrect tuning to come up with music so far removed from popular music's vocal driven verse-chorus structure that you'll feel lost at first, but it steadily grows on you until eventually it becomes the only kind of music that can satisfy you.

In that context, Rushup Edge is a good logical progression of James's existing style, pushed further in its own unique direction. I'd recommend it to fans of his releases as Aphex Twin and AFX, but not to the faint of heart.

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