How Aphex Twin made Selected Ambient Works 85-92 #ArtTuesday « Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!

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On the 30th Anniversary of Aphex Twin’s [Richard David James] seminal debut album, Music Radar digs into the tracks. Checkout the gear used to create some iconic sound textures.

The record’s unique sound fused serene ambient pads and atmospheric synth melodies with techno-inspired drum patterns, resulting in a hybrid style of ambient techno that was as mesmerizing as it was propulsive. Labeled ‘intelligent dance music’, or IDM, by fans and critics (a term James himself dismissed) the album has since been named as an influence by countless other electronic artists.

Although James undoubtedly now owns an envious collection of synthesizers and recording gear, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 was produced at the beginning of his career, using a more limited selection of kit. A 1993 interview with Future Music revealed that his set-up was based around a Korg MS-20, a Roland SH-101 and a Yamaha DX7. James also used a Casio FZ-10M sampler with custom filters, estimating that he used it on 80% of his songs.

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