January 21, 2009 11:09 PM   Subscribe

Accompanied by Aphex Twin's classic Selected Ambient Works II, we have the rarely-seen experimental video Stakker (Westworld) in nine parts: Z Twig / Radiator | Rhubarb | Hankie | Grass | White Blur | Parallel Stripes | Z Twig / Lichen | Blur | Match Sticks

Stakker (Westworld) was an experimental video published by the seminal IDM electronic music label Warp Records and made in the mid-1990s by Stakker, the pairing of video artists Mark McClean and Colin Scott who later collaborated with Brian Dougans of The Future Sound of London and Humanoid on the release Stakker Humanoid.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (37 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
It's a shame most people only know about 'Come to Daddy'.
Rhubarb is probably one of my favorite songs by him. Music like that can make you taste colors.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:15 PM on January 21, 2009

"Blue Calx" is my favorite track from SAW II. I hadn't seen this video since 1997, so it's such a pleasure to find it on the web where everyone can get the chance to see it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:19 PM on January 21, 2009

Nice IDM historical document, but the videos haven't aged well at all. There is no synergy between the images and the music, neither in rythmn nor content.

The best way to put images to this sort of music is to listen to it in the dark in a quiet place.
posted by jchgf at 11:20 PM on January 21, 2009

Beautiful music. Goon Gumpas is my favorite Aphex song (from the RDJ album). Sounds exactly llike frolicking in the snow on Boxing Day.

Avril 14th also mixes well with Lionel Ritchie.
posted by benzenedream at 11:30 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is this something I'd have to be on LSD to understand?

Yes, yes it is.
posted by Justinian at 11:36 PM on January 21, 2009

Kind of cool. This is the only Aphex Twin I was ever able to listen to and enjoy. I also don't like the guy personally. I saw him interviewed once and he sounded like a total douche. But you have to give him some credit for pushing the boundaries of the genre.
posted by wastelands at 11:57 PM on January 21, 2009

Aphex Twin aka Richard D James is one of the few electronic artists I don't actively collect.

Not because I'm too hip. Because he scares me. The dude is a freak.
posted by loquacious at 11:59 PM on January 21, 2009

He's got some hot bodies, though.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:03 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like Nannou a lot.
posted by aubilenon at 12:23 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

SAW 2 is really the pinnacle of his work for me. Cliffs is probably my favorite.
posted by juv3nal at 12:39 AM on January 22, 2009

I barely ever listen to SAW2 any more. I think I've already listened to it too much. For instance, my reaction to

Cliffs is probably my favorite.

was to think "Oh which one is Cliffs?", click the link, wait until any sound started at all, and then immediately think "oh yeah, that one's my favorite too", and close the window.
posted by aubilenon at 12:48 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

He gave me my username.
posted by ageispolis at 12:49 AM on January 22, 2009

Ohhh, this takes me back. I still have the vinyl, alas no record player. Thanks.
posted by freya_lamb at 1:38 AM on January 22, 2009

I am dumb at 137am. I had no idea why the hell Saw 2 would have an aphex twin song in the middle of cutting out tongues and drilling into people's fingernails.

Or, what. Hold on, I'm on to something here.

(For the record, the whole album is really one of my staples, but Cliffs, Lichen, Z Twig are some of my favorites. I get so mad at people who only Richard da James for his ambient stuff. His cover of Raising the Titanic? Amazing.)
posted by OrangeDrink at 1:41 AM on January 22, 2009

Putting this (absolutely wicked) album against visuals defeats the purpose for me. Aphex Twin is an expert at creating auditory worlds that invoke a feeling of place/mood in a way that simply cannot be replicated in images.

It could be a personal thing as I've listened to this album a lot and have pretty strong mental images associated with all the songs though.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:42 AM on January 22, 2009

Is this something I'd have to be on LSD to understand?

I don't think so. With Aphex Twin or especially Boards of Canada, I don't have to take acid to experience synaesthesia because the music is in itself synaesthetic- "Julie and Candy" sounds ultraviolet, for example, while "'84 Pontiac Dream" smells like dirt in the springtime. To be honest, listening to this kind of music while tripping can be too much, so i've heard.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:26 AM on January 22, 2009

SAW II and Autechre’s Tri Repetae are far and away my favorite IDM albums. I listen to them more than anything else (except perhaps Eno’s Another Green World) in my iTunes library.
posted by vkxmai at 4:27 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

OMG. I have wanted to see this in its entirety for probably 10+ years. Thank you so much for this.
posted by zennoshinjou at 4:29 AM on January 22, 2009

I can honestly say that SAW II is my favorite album of all time. It also changed my approach to making music as well. I'm glad other people are showing their love for it here too.

Autechre's Tri Repetae++ is up there as well. The second disc is full of awesome sauce.
posted by Chocomog at 4:31 AM on January 22, 2009

The thing that I find really interesting about Autechre is how little of a consensus there is about what their best album is.

Chiastic Slide is the best one, though
posted by aubilenon at 4:36 AM on January 22, 2009

Thanks for the memories.

And for those still tracking Aphex's newer stuff: in just the last few days there have been plausible, but as-of-yet unconfirmed rumors popping up on message boards of a new AFX album at the end of March, which will be released for catalog no.200 of the Rephlex label.
posted by p3t3 at 5:06 AM on January 22, 2009

Chiastic Slide is the best one

I agree.

Did anyone else spend the mid to late 1990s chasing down rare or expensive Aphex Twin and Autechre releases (often available stateside for a short time), only to see them all re-released early in this decade for $15-20?

I'm looking at you, SAW 85-92 and Anti EP.
posted by vkxmai at 5:09 AM on January 22, 2009 [5 favorites]

We played Stakker Humanoid this autumn at my wedding.
posted by exogenous at 5:14 AM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

Chiastic Slide is the best one, though.

Cipater's pretty great, but (except for Pencha which kind of annoys me) Chiclisuite >> Chiastic.
posted by juv3nal at 5:34 AM on January 22, 2009

I feel old

and privileged
posted by fullerine at 6:07 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by rxrfrx at 6:12 AM on January 22, 2009

I still think I Care Because You Do may be one of the more romantic albums I own.
posted by janet lynn at 6:38 AM on January 22, 2009

Did anyone else spend the mid to late 1990s chasing down rare or expensive Aphex Twin and Autechre releases

I spent the mid - late 90's selling off my rare Aphex Twin & Autechre (and KLF) vinyl for absurdly high prices on ebay. Sometimes a couple of singles were good for a month's rent.

Also, Amber is the best Autechre album.

One of my fondest Aphex Twin memories is listening to SAW 2 when it was newly released with a new girlfriend, heavily stoned, and deciding that one of the tracks was definitely about an ancient, immense jailhouse that had been abandoned long ago and was now a nesting place for pterodactyls. It really seemed quite obvious at the time.

I don't like watching music videos.
posted by the bricabrac man at 7:32 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Me and my friends used to go out to the desert. After collecting and ingesting some of the endemic fruits and watching the fantastic sunsets, we'd lay on our backs on the nice warm sand, and stare at the billions of stars. This album (Rhubarb is also my fave) was a regular soundtrack as well as Autechre's Tri Repetae++, the KLF's Chill Out (those pedal steel samples!) and Skylab's #1.

I also feel old and privileged.

I just got goosebumps!

posted by elmono at 7:56 AM on January 22, 2009

Rhubarb and Lichen are my favorite songs on SAW2 and I think Amber is also my favorite Autechre album.. I have to get those cds out now.
posted by zennoshinjou at 8:06 AM on January 22, 2009

I'm at work so I can't watch the videos, but this entire thread is bringing back some awesome memories. Thanks y'all!
posted by xbonesgt at 8:43 AM on January 22, 2009

The pre-Bleep days were good for speculators. But it sure is nice to have vinyl in one's hands.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:39 AM on January 22, 2009

I started tracking down the work of RDJ and Autechre in 1997... and I haven't stopped. Mind you... I have not the luxury of vinyl... but I takes what I can gets. I'm also a huge Boards of Canada fan... and find that it's the music that was in my head as a child all along... and that it really does make life better.

No... drugs are not required to enjoy music such as this. It... just seems like it's part of some of us.... a very small number of us.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 10:04 AM on January 22, 2009

Thanks! I didn't realize these were all a joined piece.

OrangeDrink - that is a wonderful piece. I still haven't heard the original for comparison, and I really want to know what he started from, as he can do weird things to familiar sounds (see: 26 mixes for cash).

wastelands - I think he's fairly reclusive, and doesn't like interviews. I've heard one where he seems to just not enjoy being interviewed, but discusses some of his views on live electronic music and the like. But maybe I'm a bit of a fanboy.

loquacious - yeah, he's kind of intense. Plus, he owns a tank.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM on January 22, 2009

I remember renting the 1984 rerelease of Metropolis without realizing the musical travesty that I was in for. So I turned the sound off and put on SAW II. Worked a treat.
posted by dammitjim at 1:24 PM on January 22, 2009

Just wanted to add that I find Lichen to be one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. That's all. And agree that SAW II is my favorite of his work.
posted by DLWM at 1:26 PM on January 22, 2009

I keep wanting to like Aphex Twin... and I keep coming back to it every now and again. But it's never something I want to listen to a lot. I think it's because deep down I want my electronica to be all intellectual when in actually I prefer it all thuggish.

Stakker Humanoid
is a stone cold classic though
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:36 PM on January 22, 2009

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