Various Artists - Rephlexions
The Rephlex label was launched in 1991 and has somehow reached it’s twelfth birthday mostly sticking to the cerebral-ambient breakdown sound that launched its name in the first place. Launched by Grant Wilson Claridge and Richard James (more familiarly known as Aphex Twin), Rephlex have released a new compilation, known as Rephlexions, featuring the cream of their current roster.
Cut-and-paste compilations always follow the route of featuring some excellent cuts, allowing with some strictly filler material, assembled in a random order to fill out the running time. Rephlexions is sixty-eight minutes in length and features nineteen tracks, and whilst some are insanely abstract in their weirdness, some are actually melodious and easy for the memory to recall.
Yee-King's Goodnight Toby opens proceedings, and evokes memories of Commodore 64 with regards to melodic dance music. Bochum Welt’s aquatic trancer Radiopropulsive is an interesting assault with surprising tunefulness, whilst the DMX Krew’s I’m All Alone is a pounding eighties gothic-dancefloor reference with suitable shivers-down-spine.
It’s when you reach Rephlex’s big name of the moment Bogdon Raczynski with the epic titled There Are Many Things I Don't Understand But I Knew That I Loved You (But It's Too Late, You've Taken Me For Granted) that you witness Rephlex’s trademark sound, a ferocious trance-album that sounds sped up on a tape loop suffering from water damage. Whether it has re-listen value is to be debated, and thank goodness they placed Ensemble’s calming Proposal 5 after it just to relax the brain.
The fanbase is limited, but at least Rephlex refuses to compromise, and if you consider yourself a connoisseur of apocalyptic ambient meltdown music, then Rephlexions will be the at the top of your Christmas list, as long as you can find someone who will buy it for you.