The Making of Aphex Twin’s Legendary Selected Ambient Works 85-92 #MusciMonday

It is the 30th anniversary of Aphex Twin’s eternal album Selected Ambient Works 85-92. It’s one of those albums that you’ve probably heard, even if you’ve never fallen asleep in a chill room of a rave in San Francisco in the late 90’s. The sounds of the album seem to come right from some strange source, as if they existed forever, like folktales or bacteria. But the sounds were created through engineering, electronics, and creative analog machinations. Here’s the story, from Reverb Machine:

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 was made with a limited and relatively inexpensive setup. A 1993 Future Music interview with Richard reveals that he mainly used a Roland SH-101, a Korg MS-20 and Yamaha DX7 for his synth patches, running everything through an Alesis Quadraverb and mixing to standard cassettes.

The spacey chords put the ambient in Selected Ambient Works 85-92, and they mainly come from the Yamaha DX7 or DX11, which are the only polyphonic synths that Richard owned around this time. The synth patch in Ageispolis is Rom2A 08-STRINGS 5 with filtering and lots of reverb & delay. Richard mentioned in the Future Music interview that he had modded some of his digital devices with filters, and he may have added a filter to his DX7, as all the string pads on the album are processed with a filter. For Ageispolis, the filter is set to around 1.12 kHz.

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