Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
on 15 July 2014
With the exception of SAW and SAW2, I find many Aphex Twin albums like those John Lennon CDs where you need to program the player to skip the Yoko Ono tracks. In my case, I want the chilled out ambient tracks but not the more dance orientated stuff. This album is a perfect example.
The opening track has a hypnotic drumbeat and you instantly feel you're on course for a SAW style experience. Track 3 let's the side down a bit but then Icct Hedral takes you to another dimension with it's superb multi-layering of string sounds to give a sinister classical feel and extra punch when the chord change in the middle kicks in.
After this I skip to Mookid, for the final four tracks are sublime, Alberto Balsalm in particular. This has an addictive baseline and seems to relax the mind, as the 'balsam/balm' in the title might imply. The final track returns to layered string style of Icct Hedral.
The tracks I always skip include Ventolin which simulates the tinnitus-like side effect that some people get from this asthma reliever. This is a real 'Marmite' track that you will either love or hate.
Personally, I would love to see the excellent Pancake Lizard (B side) included on this album to tip the balance further in the direction of the lounge as opposed to the dance floor. So it's 3 out of 5 for me, but with the wonders of CD programming I can easily make it a 5. It's worth the admission fee for Icct Hedral and Alberto Balsalm alone.