In the United Kingdom it’s nearing midnight, so as I type this in San Francisco mid-afternoon it feels fairly safe to say that the track “tnodvood104” is the last bit of music that Aphex Twin released to the public in a characteristically — well, newly characteristically, after years of his quasi-silence — eventful 2016. It’s a refreshingly straight-ahead, 4/4 piece. There is no chaotic, entropy-loving IDM to its beats, and though there’s an ambient miasma in the background, the track as a whole is in no particular way ambient techno. Even in his ambient work, Aphex Twin rarely has suggested a strong influence by Brian Eno, but here, around the midway point, when layers of slightly nasal, casually atonal singing appears, it sounds very much like a bit of Eno’s slow-motion pop music. Otherwise it’s entirely instrumental, and a fine, understated way to ring in the new year.
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/user18081971, the account where Richard D. James initially unspooled heaps of archival audio when he returned to active public service in 2014.