Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Crate Digging: (Surfing On Sine Waves)

by Polygon Window

 Polygon Window is one of the pseudonyms used by Richard James, who was better known in the 90s as Aphex Twin, one of the masters of ambient electronic music.  I went through a phase in my university days where James's stuff was the backdrop to just about every essay or assignment I had to write, as I found that the sonic carpet he blanketed my dorm room in was quite conducive to zoning out and writing for long sessions.

Surfing on Sine Waves is one of his earliest recordings, and it has the makings of his later work.  These nine tracks are very well constructed - the mathematics of the album title carries through each track.  Some, like 'Quoth' are aggressive, while others, like the title track and 'If It Really Is Me' are quite beautiful, and hold up very well almost twenty years after they came out. 

As much as I found James's music trance-inducing, I also sometimes just find it boring.  That is true for most of the middle of this album, which gets a little too rave-friendly for my liking, especially now.  Still, it's nice to put this on from time to time and remember simpler days...

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