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. 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.
  2. 60
    What's lacking, though, is context.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 100
    In-between the chaos and peace, 'Drukqs' induces a whole host of emotions using acid squiggles, plucked piano strings and 80s electro-breaks.
  7. Everything sounds more accomplished, more intentional than previous efforts. Most important of all, though, 'Drukqs' is an unpredictable (yet compelling) listen.
  8. Aside from all the criticism, the previously unreleased musings of Aphex Twin are still far more intriguing and solid than most producers' best releases.
  9. 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
  10. The best work of his inventively mad career.
  11. 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.
  12. It's a refinement of James' existing art form rather than an exploration of startlingly new concepts
  13. Much of "Drukqs" sounds like two different albums competing and thus canceling each other out.... An ambitious but ultimately failed experiment.
  14. Unfortunately, most of the album's beautiful moments are cordoned off from the unbeautiful ones in ways that leave both wanting.
  15. 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]
  16. A dense, diverse, and sometimes dauntingly complex double CD. [Dec 2001, p.78]
  17. 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]
  18. 80
    Drukqs is the most sincere album [James] has released since 1995's I Care Because You Do. [Nov/Dec 2001, p.131]
  19. 50
    The resulting cavalcade of "decent bits" seldom leaves an imprint in your memory, let alone your heart. [Nov 2001, p.130]
  20. 40
    Represents a giant leap backwards. [Nov 2001, p.112]
  21. 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]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 60 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. 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 »
  2. Mar 16, 2013
    I have a number of Aphex Twin albums and this is by far the worst. It was apparently written as a "deal breaker" and I can believe it. Many of the tracks are abbrasive without any reedeming quality and are simply unlistenable. This album does not give you a remote idea of what Richard D James (Aphex Twin) is capable of producing. It's a little tiring to see arrogant comments such as those by AlphaHacker who seem to think that only their opinion and personal tastes matter. I have at least 10 Aphex Twin albums, including a few he made under different monickers and Drukqs is terrible. It seems like he put almost no effort into it.

    Someone commented, "Aphex Twin isn't out to please people or make a cohesive album." Fine, but that doesn't mean that we can't share our opinions on this album. There are two or three tracks I enjoy out of all the tracks on the 2 CDs. This is the only Aphex Twin albulm I own that I simply won't listen to. Every other album of his that I own, including Selected Ambient Works 85 92, Selected Ambient Works II, I Care Because You Do, Richard D James Album, Analogue Bubblebath III, Chosen Lords, Windolicker, Come to Daddy, Hangable Auto Bulb, Surfing on Sine Waves, put Drukz to shame because Drukz is a lousy album.

    If you like the album, fine, that's up to you, but don't try pretending that only the opinions of those who like it matter, because that's not how it works. Many people even diehard fans of Aphex Twin like myself dislike this album and many of those who've not heard it will dislike it. I don't like the album. I think it sucks and my opinion is just as valid as those who give it a 10/10 and call it genius, no matter what you think of the album. Proclaiming it "genius" doesn't mean that your opinion is worth more.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 10, 2013
    Does a fantastic job illustrating the difference between a coherent, deliberate album and a compilation of material that sort of goes together; Drukqs being a frustrating example of the latter. Full Review »