Just before the conclusion of Papo & Yo, the child protagonist, Quico, learns that he can’t fix the problem he’s facing. The situation is too grave, too serious, too deeply embedded. Quico has been working and sacrificing for hours to try and find the solution to his tragic predicament and now he is told, flatly and without room for debate, that the solution never existed. (more…)
Aphex Twin’s “Xtal” opens unassumingly. There is no long intro or buildup to some grand unveiling of a complex musical idea; instead, the song immediately introduces its main theme, a lovely syncopated chord progression, alongside a typical hi-hat rhythm, then bringing in other elements – kick drum, ethereal female vocal sample, more drum hits. Within the first minute or so, you’ve heard almost everything in the song’s palette.
Alright, let me be honest: as you’ve probably already noticed, I have a lot of trouble writing about music. I have great admiration for people that can communicate the effect well-composed music has on them, because I constantly find myself struggling to explain it in a way that isn’t stilted and ridiculous. In case the rest of my attempt here falls flat, I’d like you to just remember this much: “Xtal” is the first track on Aphex Twin’s debut album (Selected Ambient Works 85-92) which I consider one of the most important albums in electronic music history by a very safe margin. It’s a wonderful, weirdly majestic song, and it changed my damn life. (more…)
I have emptied hundreds of hours of my life into the Grand Theft Auto series over the past 10 years. I have embarrassingly few regrets about this. And although each of the games in this series offers something unique, they operate within a framework: I love this series, but I do not play it with the hopes of being surprised by it. Grand Theft Auto IV surprised me twice.