In 1975 there was an experimental project between Robert Fripp and Brian Eno titled Healthy Colours, where they set their basic rhythm box in motion and noodled around it half-heartedly for 24 minutes, broken up in four plodding and beeping parts. Such was the case 20 years later, when Warp Records found a home for this similarly bland and lesser-known release from modern-day electronic mastermind Richard D. James (aka, Aphex Twin and a half-dozen other aliases). This is a four-song EP that has a basic, clean, and unprovoking sound that must have been dug up from his vast archives of unreleased material. GAK is surprisingly uninspired considering who it's by: a trend-setter, a rule-breaker, and a pioneer. All of these tracks seem interchangeable: four/four beat, identical bpms, generic basslines, simple keyboard riffs, dry production, and the occasional vocal sample as a garnish. It's like trying to make up as many words as one can with the first four letters in the alphabet -- eventually one will figure out there's not much to work with. Admittedly, anyone who's as prolific as James can fall a little from grace. There's such little similarity between the pieces that in all likelihood it's as if he took a couple song sketches to try out some new equipment and decided to release an EP, albeit anonymously. Warp has engaged in this sort of secrecy before, with uncredited one-offs from novelty titles like "Rubber Johnny" and "Woodenspoon." Word gets around, however, when obscure Aphex Twin material surfaces, and the rabid fan will find (and tolerate) a wide variety of it. It's known among his followers how young James was when he first started recording, so perhaps GAK was the result of a gentle high-school daydreamer without much ever coming to mind. Most collectors will reluctantly admit -- this is a release to own, rather than listen to.
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AllMusic Review by Glenn Swan