Aphex Twin SAW2 Countdown: Track 22 (“Spots”)

A track per day up through the February 13 release of my 33 1/3 book


cover-from-Bloomsbury-siteI am going to do this track-by-track countdown to the release, on February 13, 2014, the day prior to Valentine’s Day, of my book in the estimable 33 1/3 series. It is a love letter to Aphex Twin’s album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, which will mark its 20th anniversary this year, less than a month after my book’s publication. More on my Aphex Twin book at amazon.com and Bloomsbury.com. The plan is to do this countdown in the reverse order, from last track to first. For reference, an early draft of the introduction is online, as is the book’s seven-chapter table of contents. The book’s publisher posted an interview with me when I was midway through the writing process.

There is some irony to doing this countdown since the book is already shipping to folks who pre-ordered it via an online retailer such as Amazon, but the official date stands, and that’s the target — the end date — of this countdown, February 13.

It sure is exciting to see it pop up in feeds by people whom you’ve never met:

This is another in the album’s pieces of dense sound design as song, a long passage of drones that nearly peak out, that challenge some stereos, and thus challenge the idea of this being quiet music. It has a vocal, as do other tracks on the album, but as is generally the case, that vocal is more choral and remote, one drone strain among many. This is music for dark corridors. Heck, this is the music of dark corridors.

Here it is reversed:

More on my Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works Volume II book at amazon.com and Bloomsbury.com.

Thanks to boondesign.com for the sequential grid treatment of the album cover.

3 thoughts on “Aphex Twin SAW2 Countdown: Track 22 (“Spots”)

  1. I feel like you’re describing White Blur 2 (11:27, the giggling, the ending) but you already did a writeup of that one? I thought Spots was just straight-up beatless dark ambient drone but now I’m wondering if all my tracks are mislabeled or something. This album always makes me feel like a crazy person.

    1. You are correct, Joshua. Thanks very much for the catch. Last night it was late when I posted this, and I had cut and pasted from the wrong section of this lengthy document I made of pure description and association that was raw material for when I wrote the book — that document is, in fact, longer than the book itself.

      I also just swapped out the YouTube video of the audio, because the one I’d posted was itself reversed. Whew. Thanks again.

    2. PS: The going crazy part I can especially relate to. The afternoon I tried to count the number of phrases in the track that goes by “Rhubarb” nearly did me in. More on that in a few days (and in the book).

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