Aphex Twin - Syro
Critic Score
Based on 43 reviews
2014 Ratings: #8 / 1004
Year End Rank: #6
User Score
Based on 796 ratings
2014 Ratings: #54
Liked by 26 people
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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.


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.

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.

Entertainment Weekly
Who knows, the whole thing may turn out to be an elaborate conceptual prank in Richard D. James’ mind, but when it’s this amazing to dance to, it hardly matters.

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.

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.

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. 


‘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.

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.

The Line of Best Fit

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


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.

No Ripcord
It isn't perfect, its sheer restlessness prevents it from being so, but it will undoubtedly come to be remembered as another masterpiece from possibly the greatest electronic composer to walk the earth.

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.

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.

Time Out London

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


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

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. 


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. 


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.


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

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.

Slant Magazine

Imagine a mirror which distorts not just the reflection, but reality itself, and you have a fair idea of the stunning legacy to which Syro triumphantly belongs.

Tighter than ‘Drukqs’ and a more immediately engaging collection than could have been predicted, this Big Deal is one that stands up to the amazing hype and comes away not too shabby at all.
The Guardian

Syro is still utterly engrossing and remains, somewhat unbelievably, on a completely different planet to almost anything else that’s been released over the last decade and a half.

NOW Magazine

Syro showcases the more melodic, accessible aspects of his sound, but it's still so defiantly weird that it never seems like pandering.


Admittedly, Syro will probably not win over a new generation of fans like the Richard D. James album once did, but as a continuation of everything that has made Aphex Twin compelling, it's a triumph. Nobody else can fabricate music as impossibly dense, funky, and nuanced as this without losing sight of the big picture.

God Is in the TV

While this album may not be as much of a OhmyGodwhatthebloodyfuckwasthat as Drukqs was, it’s still a welcome return and for those who have not encountered his work before (tut tut), perhaps a good place to start.

FLOOD Magazine

Despite the heaviness of the electronic and production methods at hand, Syro doesn’t feel weighted down by anything; James has simply done it again.

Under The Radar

Production technology has progressed immeasurably in the last 13 years, a truth seemingly lost on Syro, and the comforting analogue warmth that the record exerts is initially appealing but grows tiresome too quickly. This record never puts Aphex Twin's legacy into question, yet it may ponder his continuing relevance.

The difference is that, 10 years and countless Aphex imitators later, these old tricks now sound a bit tired – easy, even. What’s missing is that impish, dangerous side, the famous contorted grin and all that it suggests: humour and horror, surprise and confrontation.
The Needle Drop
After 13 years of studio album silence, Aphex Twin makes a mild return.
After 13 years of absence from the music world, Aphex Twin came back to surprise everyone with 'Syro', an album which goes back to the more vintage, cold and complex sound of acid techno and drum 'n' bass, a sound Richard experimented so much with back in the 90's starting from his earliest releases.

This time around, we get even more robotic grooves, vocal samples that add to the synthy melodies of the songs, percussion that's not as eclectic as something off of 'Richard D. James Album' or ... read more
this is my 500th review give me like now
Su puta madre estoy anonadado.
The king of electronic music returns, and damn if it doesn't make me want to dance. Syro is quite tame considering it followed the bat shit crazy "Drukqs" but I welcome this sound, Syro is full of simple arrangements that have enough detail to keep these jams interesting. I can see how this might be playing it a bit to safe and might have even been a disappointing comeback but I love this record and still is something I can always just put on and have a good time with.

Best Track: ... read more
twinks 4 aphex twin ♡

fav tracks: minipops 67; 180db_; aisatsana
least fav: 4 bit 9d api+e+6 ; syro u473t8+e
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Added on: August 21, 2014