Aphex Twin - Richard D. James Album LP
If Richard D. James had not made the Richard D. James LP there would probably not be Matmos, there would be no Hrvatski (although the electro-acoustic complexities that Keith Fullerton Whitman later produced might have still spilled out), and there would have definitely been no Kid 606. This record was released on Warp back in 1996 and was the crossover album between IDM and jungle, with the purists from the latter crying foul that Aphex Twin had ruined their party, while giving the former a whole new template of rhythms to mine, deform, and mutate with lightning quick precision. Still, what set this album apart from so many of its contemporaries was the adventurousness with form and the ability to maintain an emotively complex sense of melody. Where much of the more playful forms of electronica tends to get precious and saccharine really quickly, James' rounded basslines and idyllic synth arrangements on such tracks as "Fingerbig" or "To Cure A Weakling Child" spiral Amen break deconstructions around the rhythmic architecture of the tracks. But the standout tracks on the album still are the lead single "Boy/Girl Song", with its amazingly inventive tricknology sampling plucked strings molded into an utterly captivating synthesized harmony that propel still one of the most skittery and most dynamic drum 'n' bass numbers ever produced, and then there's "Milk Man" in which a deliberately sniveling James sings for the first time, with lyrics obsessing over the mammary glands of wife of the neighborhood milk man. Ah, David Lynch would have been so proud!