One wants to believe in Brian and Karen Tregaskin, because who wouldn't be charmed by the heartwarming tale of two Cornish musicians who find themselves at the center of a bidding war won by the Aphex Twin's label? A star is born, and all that. But forget romance: denials abounding to the contrary, the Tuss is Aphex. Richard D. James has returned and after an initial EP, Confederation Trough, which got the conspiracy theories going, Rushup Edge finds the frenetic hypergenius still cackling his way around life and having fun with his international cult as he goes. Having reinvented a slew of perceptions of what electronic music could do as much as kicking against the worship of new clichés he ended up establishing, James' side-step into guerrilla releases and stone-faced responses makes perfect sense: he's been using similar obfuscations right from the start. But Rushup Edge is, dare it be said, the most straightforwardly warm sounding thing he's done since the early '90s. If it's hardly straight-up, four-to-the-floor house or something similar, the swooping melody bursts and the frenetic but not crushing basslines of the opening "Synthacon 9," for example, counterbalance the sudden jerks in rhythm and the mind-dances-faster-than-the-feet feeling as a whole. A short album -- six tracks at 32 minutes total -- Rushup Edge might best be heard with that debut EP, but on its own it is a classic "hit it quick and be done with it" effort, with each song containing delights that sometimes put a smile on one's face just for being so immediate. "Shiz Ko E" could just about be something from Chicago 1988 (after being put through a wringer) while the rising vocal squelches and serene electronic sighs on "Last Rushup 10" are no less entrancing. It's not a revisiting of the past, but a return to some of its spirit that turns out very well. And it has a song titled "Death Fuck," which somehow says it all.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett