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Selected Ambient Works 85-92


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Amazon's Aphex Twin Store

Music

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Jan. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Apollo
  • ASIN: B000005RHR
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,912 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Xtal
2. Tha
3. Pulsewidth
4. Ageispolis
5. i
6. Green Calx
7. Heliosphan
8. We Are The Music Makers
9. Schottkey 7th Path
10. Ptolemy
11. Hedphelym
12. Delphium
13. Actium

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Aphex Twin is a colossus within electronic music, and this album is one of the reasons he is revered the world over. A collection of his early dreamscapes set to record, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 is an out and out classic and played a major role in defining the emerging "intelligent" techno scene in the UK. As the name suggests, it's more relaxed than his subsequent adventures into rhythmic entropy, propelling gently fluctuating synths and bubbling analogue sounds towards the dancefloor with sedate breakbeats and mellow techno plods.

The delicate washes of sound that ebb and flow through tracks like "Tha", "Heliosphan", "We Are the Music Makers", "Xtal" and "Ageispolis" can only be described as timeless and ethereal--erudite blends of writhing electro and ethereal night visions. There are darker and harder cuts ("Ptolemy" and the intro to "Schoktev" for example) but this is mostly the sound of hard drives dreaming. If you only buy one Aphex Twin album, make sure it's this. --Paul Sullivan

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Atticman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I first came across Selected Ambient Works when rooting through a box of random tapes I found under the bed in my first student houseshare. It was a grim October and I was living in a house on the cliffs of Rottingdean near Brighton, miles from campus and my friends, and I was feeling rather lonely. When I played this album, it was like my mind was being hugged and bought a pint.
From the opening synths and gentle boom of Xtal, Ambient Works is a cosy duvet on a bleak February morning, a Mars Bar after swimming, a snow-covered hill on a sunny day - full of soothing melodies and quiet spaces.
Now, 13 years later, I still put it on when I can't sleep, or when I feel cold or sad, and it greets me like an old friend. I played the tape til it broke and had to buy the CD. I was very much a rock fan when I came across this album, but it introduced me to a side of electronica I hadn't previously been aware of - the after-party, the come down, the morning after, the walk in the park with your headphones on.
Apparently it was massively influential and I suppose that is one reason for picking up this piece of history. But a far greater reason is the timeless beauty of the music. Buy it, love it forever.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Simon J. Whight on 3 Mar. 2005
Format: Audio CD
I feel like I have an affinity with this album. I remember back in younger days sitting in my bedroom, twisting up samples, crafting my own little electronic ditties on my wee little A500. I stuck some of them down to tape, entered some furious breakbeats as my GCSE Music compositions and was quite chufty at getting my pass mark. When I stick this on, it makes me think of those days. Selected Ambient Works is a collection of Aphex's original electronic tweakings from 85-92, composed on bits of electronics he had wired together himself and generally had fun with! Add to this the fact that the entire CD has been mastered from tape in the first place and you've got a collection of works that sounds really special to listen to, almost as if you've stumbled across some rarities in a dusty attic somewhere!
I've read that the original tape suffered a bit of a mangling job at the paws of a cat, and you can tell from the slightly wavering treble of Schottkey 7th Path and the ever present hiss that this is far from the height of ultra slick digital mastering. All of this adds to the charm of this collection, the almost otherworldly simple crystalline melodies and simple electronic beats and breaks. The music doesn't fit to any real existing musical template or structure aside from being music that is electronic. Little house beats here, breakbeats there but nothing else sounds like it. The pieces are oh so simple but oh so effective, instantly accessible and instantly gratifying. I love sticking Xtal and Pulsewidth on to give me a bit of bounce in the day, and the aforementioned Schottkey 7th Path has gorgeous orchestral and almost churchlike synths partnered with pitterpattering breaks.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Terryj on 30 Dec. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Though I like most kinds of music this album was something that made me sit up & take notice. So refreshingly different to what I've heard before. The name Aphex Twin first came to my attention on hearing a track (I can't remember which) on the radio. I searched & found this cd, one I never tire of listening to. The first track, Xtal, is a particular favourite. The gorgeous sound of a soft female voice flows through so beautifully. Each of the remaining tracks is different to the others. All in all a feast for the senses but be prepared for something different as some tracks may take getting some used to. I highly recommend every one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Birkett on 4 Sept. 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I couldn't believe my luck when I saw this on Amazon. The option to Pre-Order a brand new repress of Selected Ambient works 85-92! This is one of Aphex Twin's most acclaimed albums and it is a brilliant vinyl to collect while you have the chance. It is a MUST HAVE for any Aphex Twin fan. The songs feature a range of beautiful analogue/synth sounds that are both relaxing and at times exciting. The high quality standard of the tracks continues throughout, as some people disagree with when talking about Selected Ambient Works Volume 2. My personal favourites on this album include Xtal, Heliosphan and Green Calx. It is brilliant that this has been repressed and makes me ask, will Aphex Twin come out of his shell again soon and release more of his eagerly awaited albums? Some sources suggest he has 6-10 albums ready to release but this cannot be for sure. If you want to get more vinyls of his, be sure to get "Richard D. James" and "...I care because you do". Maybe even give Windowlicker and Come to daddy a try while they are on Amazon at a reasonable price!

If I had to criticise anything about the product I'd say that the packaging material is a LITTLE flimsy. However the original artwork makes up for it :)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robot Overlord on 14 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
I bought this record at least a year after Selected Ambient works II, in that mood of methodically harvesting every CD an artist has released, and I think I this record is the best of them. It’s easier on the ears than Richard D James, shorter that SAW II, mellower and warmer, and containing sounds which vary from the timeless to the pleasantly retro - a list of cozy, crackly places interspersed with desolate, rainy ones, like stepping out of a warm house into a darkened carpark...
You get the pleasant feeling of having discovered something a bit special which you wern’t perhaps meant to find, as though the tapes had lain collecting dust in a box in the guy's attic - it's quite “bedroom,” but interestingly so - trippy and crackly as though taken from vinyl and recorded using analogue kit... Buy without hesitation.
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