Aphex Twin…I Care Because You Do
album Richard D. James recorded under the Aphex Twin moniker
and marks the end of his initial analog era. It’s also the crowning
achievement in the Aphex Twin canon.
Veering from his previous acid house, ambient and general techno
undertakings, James builds compositions out of lengthy and intricate
drum machine loops, elaborately layered analog synths and intermittent
string pieces. The final product comes off like a Replicant danceparty.
Never one to take his art too seriously, James infuses ...I Care
Because You Do with in-jokes and innuendos. “Ventolin,” named after
an asthma medicine, is one of the harshest tracks on the album and
features a high-pitch frequency that mimics symptoms of tinnitus;
“Alberto Balsalm” is named for a British line of hair care products;
“Come On You Slags” samples dialog from a pornographic film. Additionally,
several of the song titles are anagrams: Aphex Twin is reworked
as “Wax the Nip”, The Aphex Twin morphs into “The Waxen
Pith,” “Wet Tip Hen Ax,” and “Next Heap With,” and Richard David
James becomes “Acrid Avid Jam Shred.”
...I Care Because You Do’s equal infatuation with hip-hop rhythms
and melodic counterpoint provides an effective bridge between his
pioneering early releases and the cunning explorations of his later
work. As much as the front cover self-portrait captures a snapshot of
the artist’s own image, the music inside provides a glimpse of an artist
on the cusp of an invigorating new period of sound experimentation,
but still producing his unique blend of melancholy and aggression
at an elite level.
Generally seen as one of the quintessential IDM releases of all
time (and once named by Q Magazine as one of the top 20 loudest
albums of all time), the album finds a middle ground between Phillip
Glass and the Wu-Tang Clan. Fans of either will not be disappointed.