When it comes to unbeatable record labels, hardcore electronica kids have a good few essential marker points; Warp, Tigerbeat6, Planet Mu, Skam, Schematic, Mille Plateaux, Mego and (sporadically) Digital Hardcore. Rephlex, however, might just be the best of the lot.
They’re certainly the most fun; while everyone else and their Apple Mac is worrying about BPMs and how advanced drum patterns can be, Rephlex dispense with the bullshit and continue to bang out the tunes.
It would be careless not to mention their star pupil first. Bogdan Raczynski weighs in with ludicrously-titled wall-smasher ‘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)’ – the very epitome of the Polish one’s hyperactive beat-mania, garnished with his unmistakably sweet vocals.
The wise amongst you will wonder why the hell you haven’t bought his previous half dozen albums (that’s ‘Boku Mo Wakaran’, ‘Samurai Math Beats’, ‘Thinking Of You’, ‘myloveilove’, ‘’96 Drum N Bass Classixxx’ and ‘Renegade Platinum Mega Dance Attack Party: Don The Plates’ for the record). The wisest will already own them. And as Bogdan himself says on the sleeve of ‘Thinking Of You’ – the LP from which ‘There Are Many Things...’ is taken – “if you don’t pay for this then don’t complain when I start making psychedelic trance”. You’ve been warned.
Cylob may have blessed gay porn with his musical tweakings, but it’s a little too mind boggling to imagine what the buggerin’ hell must go on to make the man-on-man action synch with modulating super-trip fist-bangers like ‘Smack ’Em Up Sharp’. Fist-bangers? Um, hang on...
Luke Vibert shows precisely what he does best on ‘Remember This’ – pan-tastic drum & bass dancefests. And, mercifully, all the self-defeating IDM-isms of his latest album on Warp are swiftly forgotten.
But it’s his Cornish f(r)iend who everybody will be clamouring for here, somewhat missing the point of this compilation, although with decent cause. AFX (yes – yawn – Aphex Twin) launches three astounding minutes of patented acid madness, the kind of insanity deserving of a ‘Smack My Bitch Up’-style video companion, or even something similar to previous Richard D James/Chris Cunningham visual face-splatterers. If you’ve heard his previous two AFX EPs, on Rephlex offshoot MEN, then this isn’t exactly unexpected, but it’s no less glorious for it.
You can hear components flexing, twanging and generally protesting bloody murder at what everyone’s favourite tank-driving maniac is daring to do to his software, hardware and quite possibly small fluffy animals. It’s called ‘Mangle 11 (Circuit Bent VIP Mix)’ and no more appropriate title short of ‘Just Done 10 Es And My Brain Is Fit To Fall Out’ would suffice.
Elsewhere, DMX Krew’s ‘I’m All Alone’ is the result of mutant electronica crossbred with Duran Duran. Is that good? Shit knows, but it’s certainly funny.
You can’t go far wrong with any combination of PP Roy (apparently an ex-caretaker and amateur trampolinist!), D’Arcangelo, Astrobotnia, Like A Tim or Global Goon either.
If supercomputer mega-intelligence is what you seek in your dance music then this will be as satisfying as a good wank (that’s the only way IDM fans can get it, yeah?), but if fun is your game, ‘Rephlexions’ is pretty much the holy fucking grail.
9Adam Anonymous's Score