Released in April of 1995, …I Care Because You Do is the third studio album Richard D. James recorded under the Aphex Twin moniker and marks the end of his initial analog era. It’s also the crowning achievement in the Aphex Twin canon.
Veering from his previous acid house, ambient and general techno undertakings, James builds compositions out of lengthy and intricate drum machine loops, elaborately layered analog synths and intermittent string pieces. The final product comes off like a Replicant dance-party. Never one to take his art too seriously, James infuses …I Care Because You Do with in-jokes and innuendos. “Ventolin,” named after an asthma medicine, is one of the harshest tracks on the album and features a high-pitch frequency that mimics symptoms of tinnitus; “Alberto Balsalm” is named for a British line of hair care products; “Come On You Slags” samples dialog from a pornographic film. Additionally, several of the song titles are anagrams: Aphex Twin is reworked as “Wax the Nip”, The Aphex Twin morphs into “The Waxen Pith,” “Wet Tip Hen Ax,” and “Next Heap With,” and Richard David James becomes “Acrid Avid Jam Shred.”
…I Care Because You Do’s equal infatuation with hip-hop rhythms and melodic counterpoint provides an effective bridge between his pioneering early releases and the cunning explorations of his later work. As much as the front cover self-portrait captures a snapshot of the artist’s own image, the music inside provides a glimpse of an artist on the cusp of an invigorating new period of sound experimentation, but still producing his unique blend of melancholy and aggression at an elite level.
Generally seen as one of the quintessential IDM releases of all time (and once named by Q Magazine as one of the top 20 loudest albums of all time), the album finds a middle ground between Phillip Glass and the Wu-Tang Clan. Fans of either will not be disappointed.