Blake Reviews Gabe’s Top 10: Aphex Twin, Syro

In one corner: Flagpole Music Editor Gabe Vodicka, itching to unleash his list of Top 10 non-local albums of the year onto a probably-suspecting public. In the other corner: News Editor Blake Aued, a new father whose awareness of 2014 music is limited to “Shake It Off” and Pharrell’s giant hat. From Dec. 22–31, Gabe will count down his list, and Blake will review each album in response.

10. Aphex Twin: Syro

Gabe: Jazzed as I was about the prospect of Richard D. James’ first official release in 13 years (!), it took several months for Syro to really worm its way into my brain. Each listen revealed strange, new layers of depth; where first Syro felt flat I discovered taste and restraint. The one thing that really sucks about Aphex Twin in 2014? Those damn 9/11 truther comments

Blake: OK, OK, I did listen to (and love) the new Spoon and Run the Jewels, which (spoiler alert) I see did not make your Top 10. Let’s call that my Top 2. (Oh, and confidential to Mrs. City Dope: Please stop singing Taylor Swift to our daughter. You’re going to scar her for life.)

So… Aphex Twin. This is the guy who did that video with his creepy face on all the little kids, right? I had that CD during my short-lived “trying and failing to get into electronica” phase around 1997-ish. Anyway, I expected this to be ambient and was totally prepared to hate it, but I don’t. There’s almost a Joy Division thing going on at the beginning. I can see why it might be a creeper, earworm-wise.