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Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works: Volume II

Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works: Volume II

Paperback 33 1/3

By (author) Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 119mm x 165mm x 13mm | 136g
  • Publication date: 10 April 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1623568900
  • ISBN 13: 9781623568900
  • Sales rank: 178,047

Product description

Extravagantly opaque, willfully vaporous - Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, released by the estimable British label Warp Records in 1994, rejuvenated ambient music for the Internet Age that was just dawning. In the United States, it was Richard D. James's first full length on Sire Records (home to Madonna and Depeche Mode) under the moniker Aphex Twin; Sire helped usher him in as a major force in music, electronic or otherwise. Faithful to Brian Eno's definition of ambient music, Selected Ambient Works Volume II was intentionally functional: it furnished chill out rooms, the sanctuaries amid intense raves. Choreographers and film directors began to employ it to their own ends, and in the intervening decades this background music came to the fore, adapted by classical composers who reverse-engineered its fragile textures for performance on acoustic instruments. Simultaneously, "ambient" has moved from esoteric sound art to central tenet of online culture. This book contends that despite a reputation for being beatless, the album exudes percussive curiosity, providing a sonic metaphor for our technologically mediated era of countless synchronized nanosecond metronomes.

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Author information

Marc Weidenbaum founded Disquiet.com in 1996. A former editor of Tower Records' Pulse! magazine, he has written for Nature, Boing Boing, and The Atlantic online and lectures on the role of sound in the media landscape.

Review quote

Mentioned on LineOut. The Stranger.com If you're already a fan of Aphex Twin, you'll revel in Weidenbaum's deep dive into one of the artist's signature works. If not, you'll be surprised to learn that you've likely already heard his music in one form or another. -- S.T. Vanairsdale The City (SacTownMag.com) the 'extravagantly opaque, willfully vaporous' chillout room masterpieces of electronic composer Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin -- basically what everyone in the 1990s listened to as they swept up/came down after the rave -- get the business from incisive SF writer and archivist Marc Weidenbaum. And really, the pairing couldn't be any more delicious. -- Marke B. San Francisco Bay Guardian Like all good critical studies, Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II doesn't provide the illusion of closure; rather, it expands minds, fostering the creation of textual meaning. I can offer no higher praise. -- Caught in the Carousel Paul Gleason It's not easy writing about ambient music. It is hard to describe how it sounds, and it is also hard to describe how it makes you feel. Weidenbaum avoids these problems by writing about the track listing, the names of the songs, the circumstances of the creation of the album, the reception of the album, and how it was used in movies...Some of Weidenbaum's approaches to discussing the album are illuminating. He explains how SAW Vol II was developed for chill out rooms at raves when people were coming down from long hours of dancing and drugs, and they needed something both restful and energizing. -- Christian Perring Metapsychology Online Reviews Weidenbaum, editor of the Disquiet music/sound website since 1996, is a lucid listener. His book offers deep insights into what makes the individual tracks so startling. -- Derek Walmsley The Wire

Table of contents

There Is No Volume I Background Beats A Chill-out Room of One's Own Synesthetic Codex Transcribing Vapor Embedding Vapor Selected Ambient Works Volume III Thanks and Acknowledgments