P IS FOR POLYGON WINDOW

Time for another Aphex Twin alias. This one dates from the early 1990s. Very much in the IDM vein that made Richard James’ name.

b. Richard D. James, 18 August 1971, Ireland, but raised in Truro, Cornwall, England. Over the course of the 90s James, under a variety of names, became one of the leading exponents of “intelligent techno”, “ambient techno” and other terms invented to describe his brand of electronic music. As a child he was not interested in music, but instead amused himself “making noises and banging on things”; later he began recording his efforts on tape and consequently began building and customizing his own synthesizers. While DJing at parties and raves he sometimes included in his sets the odd original tune such as “Didgeridoo”; “I wanted to have some tracks to finish the raves I used to play in Cornwall, to really kill everybody off so they couldn’t dance any more”. “Didgeridoo” was a dark pulsating track with analogue sounds bubbling over a splashy breakbeat. He eventually released the Aphex Twin EP and “Analogue Bubblebath” on the Exeter-based Mighty Force label in 1991. His breakthrough came the following year when he released “Didgeridoo” on R&S Records.

Much of his work from around this time such as “Phloam” and “Isopropanol’ was built from incredibly abrasive sounds but a different style by which he became more widely known emerged on the album Selected Ambient Works ’85 – “92. In the same year, Warp Records included his “Polygon Window”, credited to the Diceman, on their Artificial Intelligence compilation. This track opened Surfing On Sine Waves which James released the following year under the name Polygon Window as part of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence series. Like much of the work on these albums, much of the music sounded quite unique and followed little of the dancefloor trends of the time, but the press soon managed to invent the term “ambient techno”. However, some of the tracks were anything but ambient and “Quoth” (which was also released as a single in 1993) with its coarse kick drum sound actually had more in common with much hard techno. Even so, on a number of more introspective tunes, notably “If It Really Is Me” with its forlorn melodies and “Quino – phec”, James managed to create a barren Eno-like texture. NME.com 

The album “Surfing On Sine Waves” really is a classic that any self-respecting household should have.

Polygon Window – If It Really Is Me  

Polygon Window – Quoth (Wooden Thump Mix)   

Polygon Window – My Teapot  

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~ by acidted on October 29, 2009.

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