Drukqs - Aphex Twin

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Aside from all the criticism, the previously unreleased musings of Aphex Twin are still far more intriguing and solid than most producers' best releases.
  2. There is so little personality or variety that when Lornaderek turns out to be a 30-second birthday ansaphone message from his mum and dad, it is not a gimmick but a touching highlight.
  3. 40
    Represents a giant leap backwards. [Nov 2001, p.112]
  4. His most irrelevant album to date: a double CD, thirty-track compendium of indecipherable song titles, gratuitously weird sounds and occasional wisps of ersatz classical piano that are aimlessly pretty.
  5. What 'Drukqs' never is, of course, is boring. It's also beautifully paced. No track sounds like the one before, even though Aphex rarely strays far from the musical palate that's served him so well in the past.
  6. Unfortunately, most of the album's beautiful moments are cordoned off from the unbeautiful ones in ways that leave both wanting.
  7. 50
    The resulting cavalcade of "decent bits" seldom leaves an imprint in your memory, let alone your heart. [Nov 2001, p.130]
  8. A dense, diverse, and sometimes dauntingly complex double CD. [Dec 2001, p.78]
  9. 60
    Odd, ambitious, confounding, and occasionally brilliant -- which is to say it's much like the five Aphex albums that preceded it. [#4, p.114]
  10. Much of "Drukqs" sounds like two different albums competing and thus canceling each other out.... An ambitious but ultimately failed experiment.
  11. 100
    In-between the chaos and peace, 'Drukqs' induces a whole host of emotions using acid squiggles, plucked piano strings and 80s electro-breaks.
  12. 80
    Drukqs is the most sincere album [James] has released since 1995's I Care Because You Do. [Nov/Dec 2001, p.131]
  13. Not enough of Drukqs confidently breaks new ground, and too often James falls back on the all too familiar dysfunctional jitterbeat which has typified Aphex output since 1996's Richard D James album. [#212, p.55]
  14. Everything sounds more accomplished, more intentional than previous efforts. Most important of all, though, 'Drukqs' is an unpredictable (yet compelling) listen.
  15. It's a refinement of James' existing art form rather than an exploration of startlingly new concepts
  16. The long-standing ambient-techno pioneer uses everything from heart-attack-paced jungle to classically minded electronic minimalism to remind us why bands like Radiohead cite him as an influence
  17. While there are a couple of tracks that are completely amazing, the album as a whole could have used a little better sequencing to make it more tight.
  18. The best work of his inventively mad career.
  19. 90
    Sounds more like a greatest hits collection than a singular artistic statement.... Drukqs is unparalleled in its production and undeniable in its brilliance. [Nov 2001, p.73]
  20. 60
    What's lacking, though, is context.
  21. If refining one's vision rather than foraging for new sounds is the mark of emerging artistic maturity, then it appears that techno's jester genius has finally decided to grown up.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Nov 15, 2010
    One of his best, right behind Selected Ambient Works Vol. 1 and Richard D. James. All these mainstream critics just don't get it. Go back to rating Kanye West and Lil Wayne you uncultured dopes. Full Review »
  2. MarkW
    Apr 30, 2003
    For who says this album isn't coherent,i answer:look at the cover.A typewriter,Symbol of the infinity of combinations of real.just what justifies,dear Rolling Stone,the chaotic names of the tracks,what justifies their random disposition in the album.Even if i'm sure that for Aphex himself,at least the tracks order HAS got a sense.But also:this album HAS been wanted to be on 2 cds.30 tracks there are,none of them eliminable.Why everybody weeps the inutility of the piano tracks or of lornaderek,bit4,aussois,and doesn't care of the abundance of drum/drill'n'bass tracks?Cause they think the last ones are normal.When you listen to Drukqs you have to consider every track at the same level,every sound with the same dignity.what emotion suggests you rdj mama's voice?don't care if you don't think it's music,try to concentrate to what that SOUND suggests you.every track wants to prepare you to the next one.every track has right to be,such as bbydhyonchord,which fundamentally is a not too happy tribal house piece,and i feel a sort of irony towards mainstream and its ultra-celebrated house music,so little and stupid after 6 astonishing tracks.It's musical conformism squeezed and reduced to a fragment of song by the intelligent,absolutely NOT crazy music.Dear critics,haven't you noticed that all the drum'n'bass tracks,at least on cd 1,are variations of the same melodic pattern,which finds its peak in the central stop of Mt st michel?and what they say about the piano tracks?bad Satie's copies,uncoherent with the rest,too simple etc.Who knows Rdj know sthat piano is a great new entry,anticipated by that Nannou on the Windowlicker EP.But this wouldn't justify those tracks if they weren't REALLY beautiful.Modified piano gives a different appeal and atmosphere every time,and we can find connections with the titles sometimes,see Father.Aphex likes to put in contrast headfucked technology with classic sounds.Who did this before?this is the novelty.Drukqs doesn't present any new kind of music,but it's a refinement and a revolution of the concept of 'album'.I think it's normal if even some of the fans didn't appreciate it. Full Review »
  3. Jul 27, 2013
    Drukqs, though I would struggle to define it as James' greatest album among so many masterpieces, is my personal favourite album not just for Aphex Twin, but counting all his pseudonyms. The interspersed piano pieces are hauntingly beautiful (re: Rolling Stone) and provide a rest from the intensity of songs like "Gwarek2" and "Strotha Tynhe". The atmosphere of the album is intense and almost overwhelming but simultaneously comforting and fantastical. "Vordhosbn" is one of James' best ambient tracks, and and "Mt Saint Michael Saint Michaels Mount" reach towering, giddy pinnacles that put you into a trance. A brilliant album that I listen to more than any other, and will never get tired of. Full Review »