Album Review: Aphex Twin – ‘Orphaned DJ Selek’


After a period of industry abstinence that saw a whopping 13 years between releases, Richard D. James AKA ‘Aphex Twin’ is back with his third release in the past 12 months. Well, sort of…

Whilst 2014’s ‘Syro was the official follow up to 2001’s ‘Druqks’, there have been a number of other releases from the DJ under various pseudonyms – something the Cornishman has made a habit of in his long career. ‘Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006 – 2008’ comprises some of those hidden gems.

As the name suggests, the songs that feature all date from a three year period during which, commercially at least, James was at his most withdrawn  – although this did nothing to dampen his passion and creativity.

'Orphaned DJ selek’ was released by Warp Records and is available now.

‘Orphaned DJ selek’ was released by Warp Records and is available now.

First track ‘serge fenix Rendered 2’ is a perfect representation of what the AFX alias is all about. From the opening retro claps that kick start the beat, to the chunky, insistent techno melody, this is old-school acid-house goodness. The record is strictly analogue throughout (real instruments only) so it’s no surprise that ‘dmx acid test’ carries on in a similar vein, with it’s warm synths really taking centre stage.

The transition in time is apparent throughout the record, and for fans of AFX some songs sound like they’d fit perfectly within the ‘Analord’ era. ‘Simple Slamming B2’ has its origins in an earlier time altogether and would slot nicely into any of those 90’s releases that had us making all sorts of crazy shapes in the air.

One of the few tracks that really breaks new ground is ‘midi pipe1c sds3time cube/klonedrm’, with its hip-hop inspired groove and chirping pan pipes (yes you read that correctly… pan pipes).

Regardless of the branding, any new release from Aphex Twin (with a little help from the iconic Warp Records) will always be welcomed with open arms by the electronic music community. This latest set doesn’t offer absolute jaw-droppers, but it’s a solid collection of acid-tinged techno that deliver 27 minutes of AFX heaven – with a few sidesteps along the way. If you’re new to Aphex, it’s a relatively safe entry into the world of a maverick musician, but an ultimately rewarding one nonetheless.


Author – Chris, Liverpool store