Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #51 Aphex Twin - Drukqs
Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#51 Aphex Twin - Drukqs
The artist closest to garnering unanimous and unparalleled respect within any given genre might be Aphex Twin, with his ceaseless assault on most all things electronic. He's passed on the dreamiest ambience, the most grinding drill n bass, wonky glitch + experimental tracks, and everything in between. He's built his own synths and circuit-busted machines from scratch. He's prolific - 40+ releases across double-digit monikers. Most importantly, he perfected (or invented) nearly every angle he took, which makes him one of the most important musicians - electronic or otherwise - of all time.
Drukqs is the album I often cite as the proper introduction to AFX's work - simply because, amongst all the spillings-out of this man's freakish musical mind, Drukqs is the most digestible material. But, unlike other "introductory" albums to wide-sweeping artists, with Drukqs I never feel like I'm recommending anything other than his best work. This 30-track, 100-minute double disc is packed with sweeping jabs at the electronic spectrum, with the softest tracks (Avril 14th) ping-ponging against the most hectic (Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michael's Mount). This is actually something of an anomaly; for so many tracks (and he really needed the 2-disc format to contain his furious output), it's ultimately a hitless album by any standards. I mean that as a compliment - "Taking Control," in which a metaphysically conscious voice takes control of the opening drum machine beat, is the closest I ever came to playing out a track - but mostly I let the superb tracking and stellar consistency do its thing.
I'd never conclusively call this Aphex Twin's best work - not with Classics and Selected Ambient Works and Richard D. James Album in the running - but it's right up there. Aphex Twin paved the way for new innovators, which take up most of my listening time these days, but whenever I want to return to the most brilliant output from the king of electronics, this is usually the disc I come back to. A must-have in your collection.
Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.