On his first album in 13 years, Richard D. James, the godfather of cerebral electronic music, is in top form. This isn't a comeback, nor a departure of any kind: Syro sounds like highly concentrated, classic Aphex Twin, a singular aesthetic that dates all the way back to 1982: beat patterns wiggle into the foreground, then disappear; analog synths snap, crackle and pop; moods vacillate between aggressively percussive and smoothly melodic. These tracks – they work together like one long set -- demand to be listened to with excellent headphones, the better to discern their highly intricate sequencing, arguably some of James' most ambitious. Each tune is teeming with juicy noise, all of it gleefully arranged. What comes through most is joy: it sounds like James is having so much fun. 

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