Selected Ambient Works, Vol. II
by Aphex Twin
Released: Mar 1994
Label: Warner Bros.
Aphex Twin didn't invent ambient music; credit Brian Eno for the name, and then go all the way back to Erik Satie's "furniture music," from 1917. But Aphex Twin's 1994 album introduced a new generation of listeners to atmospheric electronic music. Ironically, 1992's Selected Ambient Works 85-92 rippled with techno rhythms, but this double CD of beatless, untitled sketches delves into alien synthesizer loops as limpid and pure as a mountain stream. It sounds less like a product of chillout culture than some strange sonic artifact unearthed from a meteorite crater.