Back on the classics kick, here’s one from the Bytes LP released by Black Dog Productions in 1992.
Speedy J is one of the most underrated artists in ambient electronic. His 1993 debut ‘Ginger‘ was simultaneously released on Richie Hawtin‘s label Plus 8 and as part of the Warp Records Artificial Intelligence series. Impressive for any release, let alone a debut.
He has released multipule ‘Fills’ over his career and all are excellent. Here’s one of my favorites.
This is the title track to the 1991 release ‘Analogue Bubblebath‘ by AFX, one of Aphex Twin‘s many pseudonyms. It is his first release under the AFX moniker. pRichard D. Jams (aka AFX) originally recorded the track in 1987, at the age of 16.
An aptly named classic, it really is a bubble bath for your ear canal. The EP continues with the much harsher and more discordant ‘Isopropophlex’ followed by an epic and chaotic ‘Entrance to Exit’, and it closes with some classic Aphex acid in ‘AFX 2’.
Not my favorite AFX release, but one of my favorite AFX tracks of all time, a true hallmark of ambient techno.
Sorry for the crap sound quality. Go buy the EP!
This is one of those tracks that I keep coming back to. It was something that I found on soul seek, or one of those ancient P2P networks, and it really helped push me towards Warp Records as the authority in electro.
I mean, lets think about it, Warp has Aphex Twin, Autechre, B12, Boards of Canada, Black Dog, Brian Eno, LFO, Nightmares on Wax, Prefuse 73, Two Lone Swordsmen, Squarepusher and Sabres of Paradise to name a few.
I could have chosen any number of Orbital tracks, but I started with this one because this song has penetrated pop culture so deeply. It is the theme track from Hackers, and has also been featured in CKY2K, Mortal Kombat, and Mean Girls.
Orbital is a British duo consisting of two brothers, Phil and Paul Hartnoll. Halcyon is a reference to Halcion, a tranquilizer to which the Hartnoll’s mother was addicted. The original mix of Halcyon is a longer and more downbeat version, and was dedicated to the Hartnoll’s mother. The vocals are a “backmasked vocal sample by Kirsty Hawkshaw from “It’s a Fine Day” by Opus III” (Wikipedia).