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26 Mixes For Cash | Aphex Twin
a grand diva review





Aphex Twin's latest offering, "26 Mixes for Cash" is a massive double-disk tour-de-force. What is amazing to me, is that someone who is blessed with this level of genius is actually being released on any label. Most sit solitary in cramped cat-filled apartments with no utilities; not Richard D. I mean Aphex, I mean…whatever. Talent by any other name is still talent.

"26 Mixes for Cash" is a compilation of selected remixes that Aphex Twin a.k.a. Richard D. James has done for many artists. The album includes remixes for Saint Etienne, Wagon Christ, NIN, & Jesus Jones. Yes, you heard me correctly, Jesus Jones. Who woulda thunk it?

CD1 contains more of the mellow, downtempo creations reminiscent of his calmer days, though none of the songs are as lethargic as his early ambient works. CD2 is his more of his aggressive, dark IDM complete with signature immeasurable BPMs and high frequencies. True Aphex fans will be able to tell the time period in which the remix was composed by the sound palette. For example: His remix of Saint Etienne's "Your Head My Voice" sounds like it was composed around the same time as his "I Care Because You Do" whereas, his Aphex Twin Baldhu Mix of Die Fantastischen Vier's "Kreiger" was more than likely created around the same time as "Come to Daddy". But now, enough of this sort of talk - let's head into the music.

I was immediately floored by his remix of Philip Glass' interpretation of David Bowie's "Heroes". Minimalism gets even more minimal in this remix where Aphex does nothing to Glass' haunting strings, yet chooses only to tweak with the bare vocals and volume. Perfect combination and why Glass and Aphex haven't created something together a long time ago is beyond me.

Aphex and samba? Never thought it would happen? Oh my child it does when he gets a hold of "Journey" by Gentle People. I stopped right in the middle of First Avenue and Sixth Street in New York City to call a friend about this one! Yeah, traffic backed up a little but it's New York, they would have hit traffic eventually...

He also gets his hands onto Meat Beat Manifesto and throws down some large, heavy, beyond-ghetto bass.

There are only two tracks on the two-disks that don't live up to my idea of the "Aphex Standard." One is a remix of his very own track, "Windowlicker." The original track is a wonderful and aurally playful. Yet the remix seems more like the rough draft - a starting point for where the song actually ended up. His remix of the DMX Crew's "You Can't Hide Your Love" - (sigh) - "Richard, if you were hurting that bad for cash I would have loaned you the money." This isn't so much about his remix as it is about the original. There was really nothing Richard could have done to better the piece so frankly he should have done nothing.

There are so many tracks and I could write a long dissertation on the joys of this album but I will end it here. My only hope is that more music lovers will tune into what Aphex Twin was been doing since the age of 15. He continually expands the boundaries of art, science, sense and energy. This album, takes you on a complete and rewarding journey of all the possibilities that is Aphex, though I know as I type this, and he sits in his London flat, he is coming up with some bizarre way to break down more walls (I didn't even know there were any left after him).


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