AOTY 2018
Aphex Twin - Syro
Critic Score
Based on 33 reviews
2014 Ratings: #7 / 845
Year End Rank: #6
User Score
Based on 422 ratings
2014 Ratings: #50
September 23, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Warp / Label
IDM, Electronic / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Drowned in Sound

Syro sees a master craftsman return with renewed inspiration. And while it might not technically be James' most innovative album, it way well be his best: his most complete and engaging under the guise of Aphex Twin.

100
Resident Advisor

Aphex Twin's return, Syro, bears a 2014 release date, and it might end up as the year's best album. But that feels entirely incidental—it sounds like nothing else this year, or the year before, or the year before that one.

95
Paste

Every spin through these 12 songs keeps revealing new structures and details that skipped past me until this moment. And the end result after each listen is a desire to just dive right back in from track one and look for more clues.

91
Pretty Much Amazing

Richard D. James has successfully crafted one of the most stunning records of his career, and he did so by exercising a deft amount of self-control.

91
A.V. Club

Even if Syro isn’t a radical departure, it’s still a swaggering return, a reminder of just how many varieties of warped sound remain at James’ command—and just how few of his acolytes can touch that versatility. 

90
NME

‘Syro’ is amazing: bug-eyed, banging rave that sounds quintessentially Aphex while not quite sounding like anything he’s done before. It makes zero concessions to the modern day.

90
The 405

The beauty of Syro is that every second is impeccable. That's not the sound of somebody striving to be heard - it's the sound of an influencer being confident enough to take the edge off. It isn't challenging, it's playful.

90
The Line of Best Fit

As much as anything in Aphex Twin’s back catalogue, Syro is an incredibly cohesive, immersive listen. 

90
Exclaim!

On Syro, he is willing to let his acid burbles and exquisite melodies chug along subtly. There is craftsmanship here, but its genius lies in letting the raw quality of his sound speak first rather than arranging it into something new.

87
Pitchfork

The care and virtuosity with which these tracks were assembled is immediately obvious, but nothing feels difficult; the record’s easy flow despite it all is one of its primary virtues, and there’s something new to uncover with every listen.

83
Consequence of Sound

SYRO peaks as Aphex Twin’s most accessible album since his ambient works. But a published gear list of over 130 items attests that the production is no less technical.

80
Time Out London

Ultimately, ‘Syro’ reminds us exactly how far James’s imitators are from getting anywhere close to his versatile virtuosity.

80
AllMusic

Low on frenetics, Syro is anchored by rotund and agile basslines that zip and glide, and it's decked in accents and melodies that are lively even at their most distressed.

80
musicOMH

Anyone hoping for radical revolution will not find it here, but a more complicated quiet evolution does seem to be underway.

80
Rolling Stone

Per usual, James makes halls of mirrors; ghost voices and silver ambience crest over beats you can imagine destroying a stadium while you fumble with your headphones. 

80
PopMatters

Unburdened of revolutionary duties, Syro is an excellent expression of James’ quirky and obsessive talent, full stop. It is as deep and satisfying as it is unpretentious. 

80
DIY

Not a second goes by without something new and borderline batshit falling into view. Millions of milliseconds - each one containing a tiny fragment of something different - combine on a record that’s undoubtedly been worth the wait.

80
Sputnikmusic

It seems to exist in its own little vacuum; both like and unlike anything that Richard D. James has released thus far.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

Syro remains faithful to the very sounds and idiosyncrasies that brought Aphex Twin about, the way it transforms and rotates any feeling of assumption while managing to sound so deliciously typical.

siberianbreaks
61
Your enjoyment of the album ultimately all comes down to who you currently are as an Aphex Twin listener. Most long time fans who probably waited the 13 years for the legend to return will probably find a decent at best collection of beats with a handful of awkward arrangements as well. For a first time listener, Syro isn't a bad place to start at all as it takes cues from at least every musical venture Richard has delved into and morphs it into something very digestable. The big idea overall ... read more
EntryIncomplete
85
Actually pretty straight forward for a Aphex release. But a lack of constant twisting and wobbling doesn't reveal a barebones album underneath, no.
Syro is full of addicting melodies, charming and fun precussion, and interesting samples.
rika_
75
first couple tracks were a little uninteresting, but it definitely got better as it went along

fav tracks: cirlont14, cirlont6a, minipops67, 180db, produk 29
least fav track: xmas_evet10
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Track List

  1. minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix] [aka the manchester track]
  2. XMAS_EVET10 [120][thanaton3 mix]
  3. produk 29 [101]
  4. 4 bit 9d api+e+6 [126.26]
  5. 180db_ [130]  
  6. CIRCLONT6A [141.98][syrobonkus mix]
  7. fz pseudotimestretch+e+3 [138.85]
  8. CIRCLONT14 [152.97][shrymoming mix]
  9. syro u473t8+e [141.98][piezoluminescence mix]
  10. PAPAT4 [155][pineal mix]
  11. s950tx16wasr10 [163.97][earth portal mix]
  12. aisatsana [102]
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Added on: August 21, 2014