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Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin: Acoustica

Alarm Will SoundAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $17.48 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2011 --  
Audio CD, 2005 $17.48  

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Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin: Acoustica + A/Rhythmia
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 12, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cantaloupe
  • ASIN: B0009XT8KQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,527 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cock/Ver 10
2. Logon Rock Witch
3. Meltphace 6
4. Blue Calx
5. Fingerbib
6. Gwely Mernans
7. 4
8. Prep Gwarlek 38
9. Omgyjya Switch 7
10. Cliffs
11. Jynweythek Ylow
12. Mt. Saint Michel
13. Avril 14th
14. Prep Gwarlek 38 Remix
15. Cliffs Remix

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative re-working of Richard D James November 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I first saw this release by Alarm Will Sound. There have been tons of crossover releases (going both ways) in terms of classical artists remaking popular artists and vice-versa. William Orbit tackled the masters with his Pieces In A Modern Style while the work of Radiohead has been transcribed to both classical and solo piano pieces and The Balanescu Quartet got Possessed by Kraftwerk. It's been going on for decades, with everyone from the New York Philharmonic playing the Bee Gees to Apolyptica doing string quartet versions of Metallica songs.

On Acoustica, Alarm Will Sound obviously tackles the work of Mr. Richard D. James, and even for a big fan like myself (who can often be rather cynical), I have to admit that the young 22-piece group has pulled things off pretty darn well. In terms of arrangements and compositions, the group could have easily chosen another electronic artist that wasn't quite as challenging, but they've adapted thirteen tracks of Aphex Twin on this release and amazingly play them all acoustically (with the only exception being electric bass). The songs themselves are turned into pieces that breath with strings, brass, woodwinds and live percussionists, along with some vocals.

In addition to all of the above instrumentation, the group also raided toy stores and created homemade instruments in order to recreate some of the more unique sounds that Aphex Twin uses in his music. The result is something that is entirely true to the original, played with an almost astounding precision, yet is just human and different enough to sound original.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite discs lately October 20, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I love this cd, and it's definitely worth the more than standard price. Those expecting to hear more stuff like the Philip Glass orchestration of "Icct Hedral" that came out a couple years ago will be pleasantly surprised - this is a much more enthusiastic endeavor. Firstly, there's a much wider range of instruments used, including bassoons, english horns and trumpets in addition to the strings and wide array of percussion. There really needs to be more bassoons in the world in general. Many of the songs chosen are on the more complex side of Aphex Twin's repetoire, and the acoustic versions match every skip and hiccup of the originals. Most of the tracks here are from "Druqks", which was one of my least favorite Aphex releases. (I thought it was a case of Richard James following trends rather than creating them.) However, listening to this let me go back to it and appreciate it from a compositional perspective. The other tracks seem to be split between the Richard D. James album and Selected Ambient Works 2.

This ensemble worked very hard to try to match the sounds used in the original songs, at times using found objects to replace the sounds of heavily-processed drum machines. There are some most beautiful/ingenious examples too: in "Meltphace 6", a blaring piccolo fills the role of what was originally squealing feedback, and in "4", an english horn occasionally tugs the lead line away from the strings.

I only have 1 small complaint: 2 electronic "remix" tracks are included as a bonus, which disrupt the mood presented by the rest of the tracks.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Aphex Twin fan's perspective. July 27, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I am a fan of Richard D James the Aphex Twin. I am also a fan of classical music, and of composed music. You can imagine my excitement when I heard about this album. :). I have never heard of Alarm Will Sound or of Steve Reich however, but they do a fantastic job at converting James's music to classical arrangements.

But...I think the other reviewer is correct in saying that people who do not the music of Aphex probably won't like most of the tracks on this album. But if you are open minded about music, and would like something totally different, I would recommend this. It's not that it was bound to be a great release - in fact there are some tracks on this that AWS just turn into lifeless Aphex rip-offs.

Meltphace 6, which is a great Aphex track - is utterly ruined. Aphex's Melt is a fluid master piece, flows well, and is just a beautiful track. AWS Melt - is piece-meal at best, the bass is just wrong - it's very twangy, and I just don't think that the performers pull it off. Another miss is Jynweythek Ylow, it's too slow, and the original blows it out of the water. Finally Prep Gwarlek 38 is an utter failure; they just couldn't pull it off. I won't even mention the two remixes at the end, just skip them.

Not only do they totally drop the ball on some tracks, they really only mention Richard James ONCE! Now if you ask me, his name should appear more than that - not even a thank you! This is his music, his productions - that they are performing here, give credit where credit it due.

Well that's the bad - I didn't give this a 4 star rating for nothing. Also it's not like AWS SHOULD HAVE copied exactly what Aphex did, they do a good job at making their own. AWS's version of Omgyjya Switch7 is beautiful!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 16 days ago by Anna lord
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully rendered
Somehow the acoustic renderings of the Aphex Twin works keep faithfully the music"s spirit, while at the same time sounding fresh and new.
Published on January 24, 2012 by Hektor Konomi
5.0 out of 5 stars Fully orchestrated acoustic versions of APHEX TWIN
This a group of extremely talented classically trained musicians performing fully acoustic versions of Aphex Twin. Read more
Published on January 6, 2011 by Peter A. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Striking. Brilliant.
Even for novices of Aphex Twin's dissected, rehashed and distilled brand of limerick-as-music compositional style, they would appreciate the effect of this work. Read more
Published on July 7, 2009 by Emlyn Addison
4.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation, 20 Mar 2008

Always in search of the weird and wonderful but equally wary of futile novelty, my discovery of this surprising musical... Read more
Published on July 11, 2008 by Piers Moktan
3.0 out of 5 stars ok, a good attempt but still off
Nothing can truly recreate Richard D. James' music except for a computer or a God. It is an adequet emulation of some of his best works but a lot of the tracks are totally... Read more
Published on October 23, 2005 by Tent
4.0 out of 5 stars For Connoisseurs
Connoisseurs of Aphex Twin or of avant-garde music will enjoy this. It would provide the perfect soundtrack to a Richard D. Read more
Published on October 3, 2005 by Austin Seraphin
5.0 out of 5 stars Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin
I don't listen to alot of classical,,,,,,but this is one of my favorite cds,,,,,,,,,,and I have most of Richard d. James' CDs
Published on September 25, 2005 by Diane Ringler
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music regardless of genre
Unlike most of the other folks who've logged in on this CD, I'm a complete novice when it comes to Aphex Twin. Read more
Published on September 13, 2005 by Jeff Abell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD for all Richard's fans.
This is really great music on this CD. All of Richard's fans must have this CD. There are acoustic versions of Aphex's tracks from "Selected Ambient Works II", "Richard D. Read more
Published on September 2, 2005 by Tomasz Janiak
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