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AFX - Chosen Lords

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Artist: AFX

Album: Chosen Lords

Label: Rephlex

Review date: May. 10, 2006

Ten tracks here from Richard D. James, collecting the contents of some of the previous Analord series of 12" EPs. Most of these went under the name AFX at the time of their original release; just two are assigned to Aphex Twin – the opening and closing songs, from the 10th Analord EP. As has usually been the case for the AFX moniker, this music is less overtly experimental than, say, Aphex's Come to Daddy; this is more about acid techno, relatively straightforward 4/4 rhythms topped by varying collections of electronics.

This has its good and bad points. Really, these songs are dance tunes, and the proper place for them is in a club at high volume. Listening to them at home is, to be honest, somewhat disappointing and perhaps does the tracks a disfavor, because they're not that detailed. Ultimately, they don't have enough depth to them to reward detailed listening.

Songs like "Reunion 2" and "Batine Acid,” for example, are fast, nimble tracks, light in the sense that they're not heavy on the bass end. They're more about scattershot snare hits and wiggly electronics, pulsating blip-bleep techno for club spins. "PWSteal.Ldpinch.D" is a mighty lightweight tune, but it has a more prevalent, rather pleasant melody despite the rather dour, thump-thump four on the floor rhythm.

For the most part, the other songs follow a similar blueprint: skittery, simple rhythms; pulsing bass synth topped with wavering tones and chirping electronics. It all feels skin-deep – suitable for a dance club, ideal for the original 12" format, but not necessarily worth being collected here for home use.

By Mason Jones

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