on 18 April 2003
As with most reviews you find here you get fans of a genre of music or an artist in particular raving on about how good the CD is they have listened to far to many times, and I am going to do just that.
There was something special about this album even before it came out. It was well advertised and Warp records were raving on about it a while before its wide release. Take a look at the website, [...] to see the effort that has been undertaken in promoting it and to get an idea of what you may be letting yourself in for if you choose to buy it.
It is hard to say anything about the album in simple terms, as its complexity is so profound making it a generally difficult listen at first. I don’t really class this double disc set as an album at all, more an experience, a ride you can undertake for 100 minutes: a heart pounding, confused, terrifying yet calming adventure if your alert and awake enough and can be bothered to give it your attention.
Over the two discs it could be said there are two themes or atmospheres that are both completely separable but compliment each other greatly and give the album an overall feeling. The two extremes being ‘Avril 14th’ and ‘Penty Harmonium’, ambient, instrumental and classical, compared with ‘Vordhosbn’ and ‘Cock/Ver 10’ which are a fusion of a ridiculous amount of sounds to make, if you have to give it a name; something close to drum and bass, and are the type of track that give the album its vast depth.
I have owned this album for just over year I and I have just began to see the extent of, put simply now, how good it is. It is not like the Aphex Twin we know; yet it is recognisable as something that has always been looming in his previous music. Aphex Twin supposedly makes his music for himself and his friends. This is almost Frank Zappa-esque in the way it offers more than just a listen: it is an experience that has been given real time in production and if you listen to Zappa’s ‘Lumpy Gravy’ you may see some similarities with this album (a strange comparison I know. No! Lets make that a passing comment.)
Overall its not an easy listen, with tracks like Gwarek 2 which starts with what sounds like a metal bar being walked along a metal fence followed what can only be described as screams of intense pain then a warped ping bong ball zipping around a large hall: the ping pong ball transforming into a group of screeching bats and flying away. Yes its acid induced, drugs in general compliment the album but the it is more a representation of drugs themselves, which is maybe where the title (Drukqs/Drugs?) comes from.
If you’re into any Warp records stuff get this, if you’re a real Aphex Twin fan you already have it but if you don’t like weird music or only enjoy conventional dance I wouldn’t bother. There’s far to much to say about Drukqs but I imagine it gives everybody different listen and they form their own nostalgia from but that doesn’t dispute the fact that its bloody brilliant, maybe even, dare I say it, Genius.
on 30 September 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.
on 8 May 2005
To avoid a cliché when describing this album is virtually impossible, but revolutionary is the right word for me personally. Having only previously encountered "The Twin" on account of "Windowlicker" in a chillout CD purchased several summers ago I was a relative innocent. But as experimental electronica was coming to the forefront amongst friends I got to hear this and I agree that the track Vordhosbn is actually so outrageously mental that I do want to cry and scream and my heart rate actually increases to the point of ecstasy whenever I listen to it. Before I acquired the album my desire to listen to that track was actually eating me up, but after a few days I listened to the rest of the 2 discs and I am proud of my personal discovery. Without it I wouldn't be the man that I am. Tracks 8, 9 and 10 in that order on disc 1 are just indescribable; it borders on perfection and The Twin actually hit every nail on every proverbial head possible, ever, putting these in this order and letting them (not) follow on and cause spiritual chaos and metaphysical pleasure in psychopaths such as myself. Nice one.
on 14 November 2004
This album contains the best IDM song ever created. It is track 2 on disk 1 and goes by the name of 'Vordhosbn'. This song has made me laugh, cry and almost sent me crazy. You may not understand it at first but when you get to around the 10th play you will more than likely be as dumbfounded as me. 'Vordhosbn' aside, this album also contains 8 other undescribably awesome peices of music, Omgjiga-switch 7, cock ver 10, mt saint michel + st michels mount, 54 cymru beats, meltphace 6, taking control, ziggomatic 17 and afxv237. Each and every one beautiful in its own messed up way. Although the beat orientated tunes are worth the enrty fee alone, the majority of the other work is well worth a listen. Avril 14th is nice, as are bbydonchord and Hy a scullyas lyf adhagrow. There is the odd filler lurking around, as would be expected of a 30 track lp, but you just won't care as you are taken in by vordhosbn and co time and time again
on 12 October 2001
Listening to the Aphex Twin is usually a demanding way to spend your time, and with this new album he has pushed himself to even further extremes. Although it features a number of achingly simple/gorgeous piano tunes, it is the complete insanity of the beats which will make this album stay at the top of your stack for months. I have listened to it repeatedly and still can't understand how a mere man can creat such sonic insanity. Even on the demented breakbeat tracks there are tunes - you may have to check that your cd player isn't jumping, but trust me, beneath those beats this is soulful music. Although it doesn't really add to the repertoire of Aphex Twin sounds - there are elements from his previous work in pretty much every track - the sheer brilliance of this album is scary. A work of genius.
on 13 June 2004
The separation of Aphexs' musical styles. (4/5)
To all those who say this album a disappointment, I say that you do not fully understand the nature of aphexs' music. This is definitely one of the best works that Aphex has ever produced. Earlier material like 'Richard D James,' album and 'I care because you do,' is epochal, but they do not have the exuberance of noise which 'Drukqs,' has. 'Drukqs,' pushes the 'drill and bass' nametag which has been placed upon Aphex and taken it to the Nth degree. with storming tracks such 'vodhosbn,' 'cock/ver2,' 'Mt. Saint Michel Mix+St. Michaels Mount,' and '54 Cymru beats,' Aphex takes the drum and bass element of his work and maximises it. But, with tracks such as 'avril 14th,' 'kesson daslef,' 'btoum roumada,' (which I think is the most moving piece of music aphex has ever made) and 'nanou 2', Aphex takes his emotional side of the music and strips it bare.
Also, the ambient element of Aphex's work (selected ambient works 2 especially) he pushes these elements into stripped down version incorporating sonic nightmares and truly bizarre sound effects. Music this scary (prep gwarlek3b & gwarek2) should not be this fun, but it is.
This is Aphex twins most consistent album, although it does not reach for the future (hence the losing of one star) it does act as a brilliant summary of his work. Incorporating every element of his music into one album, this album has the "drill n bass" element, the ambient element, the emotional, moving music and the sonic experimentation of earlier records. Although, on 'Drukqs,' it is purified into unadulterated music. There is filler on this album, but unlike many reviews say, it is necessary. It shows that Richard, can produce music that is not even music such as londornarek, is necessary as this track, 'londornarek,' shows us part of Richards life outside of music(its his parents singing happy birthday to him,) which he incorporates into music, hence, music is Richards's life.
If you like Aphex twin and all the aspects of his music then you will love this album, but if you like separate parts, like the ambient material, or the more neo-classical music of 'Richard D. James' album then this album will appeal to you, but it will not appeal as well as other albums. This is the album for the fan that relates to, and feels that they understand Aphex twin and his warped take on music.
on 18 October 2003
It's never an easy task trying to describe an offering by the dark genius of Richard James. The sounds he creates often leaves the listener lost for words, out of breath and usually utterly exilarated. Drukqs is no different. It's classic Aphex Twin. No other artist could possibly make an album like this. They simply couldn't. It's not quite in the league of Brando (what album ever could be?), but it's still nothing short of a neccessity to anyone with the remotest interest in music. It is an Aphex Twin album after all.
on 29 July 2005
Hardcore jungle drum and bass with interludes of almost inaudible ambience, strange sound effects and samples (Richard's parents singing happy birthday) and some wonderful piano pieces strethced out over two cds. That's almost two hours of madness. Add this to the list of "unlistenable classics", albums that reside in your collection unlistened to, but which you'd avidly reccommend to anyone with ears. It's hard to decide exactly when this album should be listened to, and when actually listening it's not an easy experience. But the listener is virtually being invited to explore the twisted mind of a genius....rather like Jennifer Lopez in The Cell. When listening to this album, you are Jennifer Lopez screaming at a horse being chopped to pieces. You are Vince Vaughn having your innards playfully removed. 'nuff said.
on 8 August 2002
Drukqs sounds like the album Mr James has always been trying to make - an elusive masterpiece of a quality which in my opinion escaped his previous efforts for one reason or another: this album is neither repetitive nor does it sound like the theme to a nintendo game. despite the diversity in the trakqs on offer the album fits together perfectly - the squarepusher-esque beat workouts and the atmospheric piano interludes complement each other well and the production of each track is flawless. much of the album is dark / sinister and many of the sounds unique making it quite an introspective, personal listen. which is nice.
basically its an exquisite album, try it and decide for yourself. incidentally this was the first aphex album i bought but i havnt been as impressed by any of his earlier releases... enjoy
on 14 February 2010
If there is one cd in my collection that deserves some sort of explanation or words to describe it, well this is the one. I do remember the first time I played it and I do remember thinking what on Earth I had just heard. Trust me it won't make any sense and you proberbly won't like it at all. However you need to play this album a lot and then as you become familliar with it, patterns start to emerge and then you will discover tracks which are insanely good. I give it 4 stars because there are quite a few tracks I still don't like. However the ones I do are just mindblowing. A few years down the road and what I originaly thought was Aphex Twins weakest album could in fact be his best.