Aphex Twin
Ventolin


3.0
good

Review

by TheCrocodile USER (3 Reviews)
December 7th, 2015 | 10 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ...I wish I cared and I wonder if you did.

Out of all the wondrous things that have been cooked in Richard D. James’ uncompromising magic IDM oven over the past few decades, the Ventolin compilation might just be the most frustratingly undercooked release he has offered. Let’s consider this for a moment : each track is a remix of « Ventolin », the infamous ear-piercing joint who would later be included on …I Care Because You Do. There is a catch, however in that, the other five tracks don’t even sound close to the original either by being meditative or just by being a geniunely good beat to shake your booty to. Remix compilations are a tough thing to pull off because the record can easily become redundant as even if there is a high quality to each reinterpretation, there is still a clear resemblance throughout because well, it’s the same track. However, here it’s clearly not the case. Whether or not the problem was circumvented in a stupid or brilliant manner is debatable, but it still highlights a certain uncertainty about the material here : a gimmick that serves no purpose to the overall listening experience.

Being unconventional and not caring one bit about presentation and listing norms is part of the charm Aphex Twin always had. Nevertheless, James does usually back up his shenanigans with well thought out tracks to boot. This release is no exception. « Ventolin » is still as much of a monster of a track as it was twenty years ago with its harsh high pitched strident sounds and punishing beat that still manage to create a lurking sense of fear. As it was named after the side effects of Salbutamol, a drug used to treat asthma that can cause tinnitus a.k.a. unpleasant sounds in your ears, both the concept and the songwriting are flawlessly executed for the eponymous track. The quality dips quite significantly for most of the other tracks however. Reflecting upon them, there is this distinct feeling that those beats were too good to be kept on a computer, but not inspiring enough to construct a well thought out track around them. It should also be noted that none of these tracks are anything close to harsh which feels like a wasted opportunity for Aphex Twin to plug in more killing tones and therefore make the whole album feel more cohesive, tone wise, but also give it a true identity. The only exception here is the fantastic closing track whose meditative beat and synth saves the so called remixes from being forgettable by actually feeling like a song rather than an idea. Although some of the other tracks are quite upbeat or evocative, it’s only at the very end of the record that a true antithesis of the title track is heard, fully fleshed out.

Truth be told, it would be a lie to say that this album is pure garbage level or pure Garbage level. Ventolin is just another collection of Aphex Twin tracks, no more no less. Somehow this record is both one that would be perfect for newcomers (in order to dip into the sound without being spoiled) and for the old veterans who just want more songs from the U.K. artist. Nevertheless, there is something beneath this record that points toward the mind boggling duality of …I Care Because You Do, but here it’s just a faint smell of what was to come.


user ratings (62)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheCrocodile
December 7th 2015


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Quick review of my assignment for the review a random album game which was due 6 months ago (!)



Was never satisfied with what I wrote because each time I felt like a cock, but yeah hopefully, it's not that bad...



Constructive criticisms, pos/negs and all that shit are welcomed.

Judio!
December 7th 2015


8444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome write-up, major props for review this dude. I noticed a few mistakes here and there when reading this but none of them are that big of a deal, I can point them out if you want.

Judio!
December 7th 2015


8444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"It should also be noted that none of these tracks are anything close to harsh which feels like a wasted opportunity for Aphex Twin to plug in more killing tones and therefore make the whole album feel more cohesive"



Agreed hard on this point, this has always been my biggest beef with this EP. Overall I think I dig this album more than you do, but I totally get your arguments here.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
December 7th 2015


14231 Comments


great review man, hard pos

one thing tho, this sentence flows weirdly to me. maybe connect it with the succeeding sentence? and is that comma needed?

" The quality, dips quite significantly for most of the other tracks however"

Digging: Ithaca - The Language of Injury

Tunaboy45
December 7th 2015


16734 Comments


Aphex Twin is a god

Digging: PUP - Morbid Stuff

Supercoolguy64
December 7th 2015


8808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

t/t is godly

Digging: The Shizit - Script Kiddie

TychoBrahe
December 7th 2015


511 Comments


Good review. Out of everything released under the Aphex Twin moniker this is personally the release I listen to the least.

The Coppice mix is my favorite thing about this.

TheCrocodile
December 7th 2015


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cheers guys, sry for the late reply, I was busy doing other stuff. Lol thx Mort, I really don't know how this comma made this way in here, was probably tired when I edited the review



@Judio: Yeah man, feel free to point any mistakes you see!

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2015


14231 Comments


lol i do the same man, i have a bad habit of not full stops at the end of paragraphs for some reason and that always catches me out

great review tho, this really needed one. ive been meaning to listen to it for ages but Ventolin is my least favourite song off of "i care because you do" so im not all that keen

TheCrocodile
December 8th 2015


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

well, you might just like this more than me then, listen to the closer, it's easily the second best track on here. If you like it try the rest of the album, if not then just don't waste your time with this one. And thanks for the kind words.



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