Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 [AMBLP3922]
Aphex Twin is a colossus within electronic music, and this album is one of the reasons he is revered the world over. A collection of his early dreamscapes set to record, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 is an out and out classic and played a major role in defining the emerging "intelligent" techno scene in the UK. As the name suggests, it's more relaxed than his subsequent adventures into rhythmic entropy, propelling gently fluctuating synths and bubbling analogue sounds towards the dancefloor with sedate breakbeats and mellow techno plods.
The delicate washes of sound that ebb and flow through tracks like "Tha", "Heliosphan", "We Are the Music Makers", "Xtal" and "Ageispolis" can only be described as timeless and ethereal--erudite blends of writhing electro and ethereal night visions. There are darker and harder cuts ("Ptolemy" and the intro to "Schoktev" for example) but this is mostly the sound of hard drives dreaming. If you only buy one Aphex Twin album, make sure it's this. --Paul Sullivan