Aphex Twin's Syro is a complicated piece of work to contemplate. Consisting of twelve tracks the album holds a collection of songs that fit an unusual dynamic. Whether it be the amount of gear Richard James used, the titles of the songs, or the artwork. A mystique is represented that could parallel to the 41st Century.
Back in the 1990’s, James was known as an influence sponge, a genius that could take ideas and run them through his highly idiosyncratic filter. Part of this is the fact that he could make piano music more beautiful, pop more unsettling, jungle weirder etc. Syro absorbs all these sounds, but in a more confident way than before, there are no “Girl/Boy Song” or “Come to Daddy” but a collection of material that can ring a bell with non-electronic music listeners. This is easily proved on tracks like “produk 29 ” and “aisatsana ". The artwork proves my point of confidence as this is presented as a one man show, a complete list of what it took to make Syro come to life. I guess branding is everything for electronic musicians. Read the fine print above.
The equipment and spaces involved range from a Cirklon Sequencer to a C-Shaped Room. James’ sound sounded good in 1996, but not quite this good. The upgrade to better machines parlays to the backbone of the album. Momentum. The tricks used in sequencing are identifiable as the accents dance on or around the beat. Each track is carefully crafted and presented with titles one may find in a sacred geometry textbook from the late 19th Century.
Syro holds a math sense, a sense of confidence, a sense of perfected sound. It’s not like James completely went away, he returned with clarity control. That fall day when clouds were above and the wind chimed with the sounds of bells. That boy who sighed Sigh Ro.