Aphex Twin 26 Mixes for Cash

[Warp; 2003]

Styles: IDM, electronica, techno, trance
Others: Squarepusher, Autechre, The Orb

It would go without saying for most people that the songs on a remix album should bear some resemblance to the original songs they are based on. But if the rest of his career is any evidence, Richard D. James, also known as Aphex Twin, isn’t like most people.

Which leads us to Aphex Twin’s latest release, 26 Mixes for Cash, a curiosity among remix albums in that many songs use little if any material from the originals, and what material is used usually gets manipulated beyond recognition. In some instances James’ take on a particular song turns out better than the original, in some cases not. But in all cases the songs are so drastically different, you have to question whether should even consider it a remix album anymore.

Particularly drastic changes have been made to the David Bowie song "Heroes," which is the most mainstream of the material on this album. Working with Phillip Glass’ orchestral rendition of the song, James cuts the song into fragments, reconstructing them how he sees fit, looping some other sections and omitting others. The only constant is Bowie’s impassioned vocals, which float above all of this. The resulting track isn’t bad, but it certainly isn’t "Heroes."

James reworks the music of a number of interesting artists such as St. Etienne, Nine Inch Nails, and Meat Beat Manifesto, not to mention that James himself is one of the most creative artists in modern music. So much creativity seems like the recipe for a great album, but 26 Mixes For Cash is flawed by a by James’ desire to rewrite other people’s music. A good remix or covers album should do justice to the original artwork, but the artist should also add enough their own style to make it their own. James overdoes it, rendering 26 Mixes for Cash as just another Aphex Twin album.

With that in mind, the album is definitely not a bad one. Like most of James’ other work, there is enough going on in 26 Mixes for Cash to keep listeners interested. If you are just starting with Aphex Twin, this is not the album to buy, start with Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and work your way forward.

Disc 1
1. Time To Find Me, AFX Fast Mix - Seefeel
2. Raising The Titanic, Big Drum Mix - Gavin Bryars
3. Journey, Aphex Twin Care Mix - Gentle People
4. Triachus, Mix By Aphex Twin - Kinesthesia
5. Heroes, Aphex Twin Remix - Philip Glass
6. In The Glitter Part II, Aphex Twin Mix - Buck Tick
7. Zeroes And Ones, Aphex Twin Reconstruction #2 - Jesus Jones
8. Ziggy, Aphex Twin Mix #1 - Nav Katze
9. Your Head My Voice, Voix Revirement - Saint Etienne
10. Change, Aphex Twin Mix #2 - Nav Katze
11. Une Femme N'est Pas Un Homme, Aphex Twin Mix - The Beatniks
12. The Beauty Of Being Numb Section B, Created By Aphex Twin - Nince Inch Nails
13. Let My Fish Loose, Aphex Twin Remix - Nobukazu Takemura
Disc 2

1. Krieger, Aphex Twin Baldhu Mix - Die Fantastischen Vier
2. Deep In Velvet, Aphex Twin Turnips Mix - Phillip Boa & The Voodoo Club
3. Falling Free, Aphex Twin Remix - Curve
4. We Have Arrived, Aphex Twin QQT Mix - Mescalinum United
5. At The Heart Of It All, Created By Aphex Twin - Nine Inch Nails
6. Remix - AFX
7. Windowlicker, Acid Edit - Aphex Twin
8. Normal, Helston Flora Remix By AFX - Baby Ford
9. SAW2 CD1 TRK2, Original Mix - Aphex Twin
10. Mindstream, The Aphex Twin Remix - Meat Beat Manifesto
11. You Can't Hide Your Love, Hidden Love Mix - DMX Krew
12. Spotlight, Aphex Twin Mix - Wagon Christ
13. Debase, Soft Palate - Mike Flowers Pop