Selected Aphex Twin covers, vol. 1
April 14, 2021 4:08 AM   Subscribe

'Avril 14th' arranged for harp; for banjo; for pedal steel; for two vibraphones {MLYT}.

'[Rhubarb]' for guitars & cellos; for double basses; for modified Sony Walkman.
'Alberto Balsalm' for steel band (previously); for chair.
'Nannou' for music-box; for percussion quartet.
'Minipops 67' for classical ensemble. 'Icct Hedral' for orchestra and chorus.
'[Curtains]' for pipe organ with electronics; '[Stone in Focus]' for trombones.
'Jynweythek' for prepared piano. 'Flim' for jazz piano trio.
'Bucephalus Bouncing Ball' for 7-piece band. 'Funny Little Man' for voices.
'Girl/Boy Song' for saxophone/bass/drums.
'Heliosphan' for coffee tin & wine bottle, etc. [MLYT again].
posted by misteraitch (20 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know of another song that evokes that kind of hopeful-but-melancholy early-morning feeling of spring, so well as this one. Thanks for sharing these!
posted by mittens at 5:53 AM on April 14, 2021

Thanks, I'm quite enjoying some of these. That banjo though, is still a banjo, regardless of what it's playing.
posted by evilDoug at 5:55 AM on April 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

I love banjos. Also accordions.
posted by Bee'sWing at 7:31 AM on April 14, 2021

I've heard the version of "Avril 14" on pedal steel before and love it. It's one of those things that manages to be sweet without getting saccharine.
posted by at by at 7:50 AM on April 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Holy shit, that drummer on Girl/Boy song!
posted by kuanes at 7:54 AM on April 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

Relevent link from today's NYTimes.
posted by chaz at 10:46 AM on April 14, 2021

The minipops 67 one is delightful, great post!
posted by coolname at 11:20 AM on April 14, 2021

I guess we're not mentioning the elephant in the room re: Avril 14th, huh?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:05 PM on April 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

('Cause if we are: Released April 14, 1987.)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on April 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Alarm Will Sound's "Acoustica" is one of my all-time favorite albums. It features a fully acoustic cover of Avril 14. It's worth buying a hard copy just to read the liner notes (e.g. professional musicians with performance credits on curtain rods or rubber tubes)

Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound/Aphex Twin
posted by MengerSponge at 6:33 PM on April 14, 2021

I was already predisposed to tears, today, but Jesus God, that harp cover... Just stunning. Thank you.
posted by rp at 7:44 PM on April 14, 2021

Vibraphone cover, most favorite thing today. Incredible instrument, wish I had one.
posted by firstdaffodils at 10:29 PM on April 14, 2021

Love it, been a long time since I listened to Aphex Twin and this was a lovely rabbit hole to go down. I listened to them all. The pedal steel one is my favorite for today, it reminds me of the sitar in it’s tonal qualities.
posted by escher at 11:27 PM on April 14, 2021

Interesting Sys Rq. He probably put a midi file of that Cure song through his piano and liked the sound of it enough to put on the album.

That's what I would've done anyway (not that I'm anywhere near the level of Aphex as an electronic musician but still, the decision making I can understand by making this kind of stuff myself in my own way)
posted by Kosmob0t at 3:02 AM on April 15, 2021

Thank you so much misteraitch.

I bought Selected Ambient Works vol II during university, what seems like a million years ago, purely on a whim, as so many music purchases were for me in those days, looking at a cover, feeling something stir.

They’re all fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing.
I often didn’t know why I liked particular music at that time. Or why some of it overwhelmed me. Or what motivated me to put it on at certain times.

Eventually (a couple of decades later) I pieced together the degree music could function as a mechanism to feel emotions that were blocked from expression or even acknowledgement.

This sort of release, when the inside of your mind is so walled in, is sometimes overwhelming. I’ve cried to a lot of these songs at one time or another. The feeling of being able to let it happen is something that seems almost transcendental at times, though possibly it’s just the rarity of relief that makes it seem so.

I love covers, especially on different instruments, where people draw out what’s hidden in a piece and often jot visible until rendered through a different set of sounds. And the character of these very electronic pieces, processed and impossibly bittersweet and melancholy, is endowed with new depths and texture and life from the subtle imperfections lent by physical instruments.

Rhubarb becomes achingly wistful on cello and guitar, mournful and lamenting on double bass, and erie/otherworldly, slowly unreeling on a Walkman.
posted by allium cepa at 5:02 AM on April 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

> I guess we're not mentioning the elephant in the room yt re: Avril 14th, huh?

The song is still great but oof, that video has not aged well.
posted by at by at 6:49 AM on April 15, 2021

I watched Young's covers recently, she's fantastic and the harp is a great instrument for interpreting what Aphex Twin is doing. Her version of aisatsana is remarkable because the birdsong on the original track is replicated by the birds outside her window.
posted by carsonb at 4:32 PM on April 15, 2021

Wow. Aphex on pedal steel...goosebumps. Tks.
posted by elmono at 1:02 PM on April 16, 2021

The Venn diagram for some of these to Biophilia is so wonderful.
posted by tayknight at 1:58 PM on April 19, 2021

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