Aphex Twin

Donkey Rhubarb

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Continuing his twin fascinations with the avant-garde and the humorously populist, James cooks up some fun on this four-song release, which followed I Care Because You Do by some months and borrowed a bit of its cover art. The title track is reminiscent of "On," more stylistically than musically, with a lovely main melody dressed up with quick beats, bleeps, and the like; it's a madcap little whirl that gets more stripped down in the second half before fading out with the lead melody once more. "Vaz Deferenz" is comparatively more straightforward; it's also fast-paced but rides everything a little harder -- it's not "Quoth," for instance, but this is more nervous laughter than giddy. "Pancake Lizard" in contrast has a more deliberate pace, with a rough drum loop offset by soft strings and even a bit of acoustic guitar. The real surprise is a version of "Icct Hedral," an I Care track which is covered here by none other than Philip Glass, a vocal Aphex fan for some time. The connections between avant-techno's minimalism and that of Glass' variety have often been spoken of, but here it finally comes to life, the original's chilly melody made even more serenely beautiful and disturbing all at once thanks to Glass' fine orchestration.

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