Solvent - RDJCS5 EP
You'll rarely see a more joyful refutation of the anxiety of influence than this. "RDJCS5" refers to a Yamaha CS5 formerly owned by Richard D. James, AKA Aphex Twin, purchased at auction by a buyer who loaned the instrument to his friend, Solvent's Jason Amm. Every sound on this EP comes from that instrument. It'd be gimmicky if the music weren't so full and so confident; there's no evident struggle in having bent the thing to make kicks and hi-hats along with every other squelch, ping and plaintive warble. And it helps that Amm is clearly engaging with James' legacy at the level of form, not just property: all four tracks combine the naïve melodies of classic Rephlex with terse, Detroit-via-Düsseldorf electro grooves. The sounds, meanwhile, are so rich, so present, they're almost tactile; you don't have to be an analog purist to think so.
Oh, and did I mention that the CS5 is monophonic? In an age of VSTs and nearly unlimited processing power, there's something quaint about choosing to work with such limited parameters; there's also something almost heroic about pulling it off as effortlessly as this.
Mon / 5