Well, ekky-thump, it’s a new Aphex Twin album. And let’s be honest here, to all but the most hardened dance nerd, it’s a case of love him or hate him, but don’t try and describe him to the uninitiated mates. Especially if you’ve been drinking…. “What does he sound like…” he sounds like he sounds. He’s remixed Beck. “So he sounds like Beck then?” No. Look, he once dressed as a woman with a beard. “Erm, I’m going now, and I won’t be around for the next few weeks, so don’t be surprised if my mobile is disconnected when you try and phone it.” See? His image of the insane genius behind tracks like ‘Window Licker’ serves him well here, on a double album that does exactly what it says on the tin – Wild, unrecognisable, but often beautiful reconstructions of other artists material that he has been commissioned to do over the past ten years.
There’s some amazing interpretations here – from an unrecognisable but critically acclaimed promotional mix of Curve’s ‘Falling Free’ (one of their finest tracks, anyway) through Baby Ford, Phillip Glass, Jesus Jones, Seefeel and … wait for it …Mike Flowers Pops – covering the Pixies ‘Debaser’. There are not many producer/remixers who could get away with releasing 26 pieces of other peoples material and claiming it as their own, but in the case of Richard Hall – a man who brings an entirely different slant to anything he touches – ambient, spiky, ethereal, thought provoking, (and often leading you to wonder if you and he were listening to the same record!), then even a self-confessed ‘cash-in’ compilation assures his place as one of the greatest innovators in music today. (Especially when he admits that in some cases, he never heard the original tracks!). He’s an institution that belongs in an institution. Bless his cottons. 8/10