46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful and inventive, not for the casual listener, 30 Sept. 2001
This record represents an intriguing development in the music of Richard D. James' most popular and glamorous persona, Aphex Twin. The characteristic qualities of darkness, sadness, lyric beauty, impressive violence, vulnerability, and sinister sexual aggression still seem to be there in 'Druqks', linking it to his former works.
However, this double cd will not be as palatable to the casual Warp listener in a way that songs with elements akin to commercial 'hooks' were (e.g. Girl / Boy Song, Windowlicker, Alberto Balsalm, Come to Daddy). The tracks are a lot less easily appreciable. They are mysterious in their musical statement, as cryptic as the apparently random collection of letters which constitute the track names.
This album, I believe, will be more appealing to more seasoned Aphex Twin listeners. There is a curious interspersion of acid techno/warp d&b with ambience of similar darkness to S.A.W. 2, and occasional simple piano melodies which have a distinctively chilling edge.
Technically 'Druqks' is confounding in its resourcefulness. The diversity of samples used and the ingenuity with which they are woven together into tunes makes fascinating listening.
I believe this record re-affirms Richard James' place at the top of his field, a position which some may have said was contestable (by, e.g., Squarepusher or more likely Autechre, although please adjust as your opinion determines). 'Druqks' is the fruit of an imaginative power and unbelievably prolific creativity belonging to a genius of the same order as Bob Dylan, Mozart, or J.S. Bach.
Why 4/5? 'Druqks' has great character and calibre, and is of great human and cultural interest, however it doesn't have the melodic elegance which, let's face it, is usually initial attraction to the rich and vast wealth of music offered by this powerful and prodigious artist.