All tracks (except track 2-1) are untitled, and are instead represented by photographs. On the artwork are six pie charts, representing the six sides of the vinyl edition, each pie slice representing a track (track length deciding the size of the pie slice), clockwise from top. By comparing each colour-coded pie chart with the small pie symbol on each photograph, it is possible to match track to photograph.
Will Warp ever do a vinyl reissue of this any time soon? Absolutely love this record, but don't wanna shell out a bunch of money for the bad Plain Recordings/1972 label reissue, would rather just wait for the real deal if it's gonna happen.
What a weird series of pressings. Buy an overpriced US vinyl pressing of the US CD and get mediocre sound plus missing tracks. Save up some more and buy the brown vinyl, with potentially even worse sound, with all the tracks. Save up even more and wait for a good seller to get the UK black vinyl with fair sound and all the tracks. Or maybe just listen to the online version which has all the tracks in CD quality.
Funny to see people praising this album years later. This was panned by both critics and fans when it came out, mainly because the title makes you think it's the same type of music as the first album. The first album is ambient-house, the 2nd album is just ambient, and about half the songs are disturbing (not appropriate for falling asleep to). So the original bad reputation the album had back in 1994 was due to subverted expectations (disappointment), not the album actually being bad. But if you go into this understanding what to expect ahead of time it really is a stunning album. Expect every song to be 2 minutes worth of material slowed down to 25% (so 2 minute songs become 8 minute songs). Maybe 8 of these 25 songs are must-haves, the rest are for the "I listen to albums start to finish" folk (like me). I WOULD recommend the album, but expect most of the tracks to overstay their welcome. You should probably be doing something else while listening to this in the background, as 66% of the tracks will fail to hold your attention if they're the only thing you're focusing on. About the track names: this album has photos instead of words for the track names. The track names you see people using online are from a 1994 fan's description of each photo. Some are a matter of opinion, some (like Radiator and Rhubarb (tracks 2 and 3)) are definitely what the photo is a picture of (unless Richard's intended trackname is "Radiator Off Mum's Old Car" or "Rhubarb At Samantha's House"). Discogs of course refuses to use any track names that aren't in text on the original album, thus everything is "untitled" (except for Blue Calx, which has a title because it appeared earlier on a compilation of Warp artists). In fact Richard himself has the tracks labeled "01", "02", "03" etc on his bleep store. Other online sources (like Spotify) have copied this idea. This is a bad idea however because none of them skip a number where there's a missing track. Most versions are missing track 19 (Stone In Focus), and all US versions are missing track 04 (Hankie). Track 03 (Rhubarb) is the one most people pick out as the best song on the album.
This album will haunt the deepest, darkest hidden parts of your mind!! One of my most listened to albums. A truly astonishing piece of work. 10/10 Masterpiece!
Aphex Twin a.k.a Richard D. James, introduced introduced himself into the world with a head fake. From its title, his debut album, 1992s Selected Ambient Works 85-92 looked like a best of collection - hardly what you would expect from a newcomer. Two years later, the follow up maintained the ruse: None of its 20 odd tracks(the precise number differed according to format and country) had been preciously released save for "Blue Calx" which first appeared on a 1992 compilation. But Selected Ambient Works Vol 2 was more straightforward than its predecessor in one crucial way. Where Aphex Twins debut mostly showcased ethereal techno and breakbeat electronics, SAW 2 zeroed in on the purist essence of ambient music, much as Brian Eno had established it 16 years earlier: beatless, mysterious, and as ineffable as a beam of sunlight.
James, cryptic as always, claimed he had recorded much of the album by practicing lucid dreaming - making music in a semi conscious state, essentially - and its not hard to believe, given the musics hazy, otherworldly tones. Detuned synthesizers clink like melting wind chimes: wordless voices droop like wilting flowers, halfway between a lullaby and a sigh. The childlike quality of Aphex Twins albums from later in the decade here manifests itself as the spookiest sort of melancholy, suggesting haunted dolls houses in the cobwebbed attics of houses where nobody has lived for a long, long time. In contrast to much of the contemporaneous ambient music that soundtracked the eras chillout rooms, SAW 2 has little interest in kitsch, exotica, futuristic fantasies , or virtually any kind of communal experience: its private music that feels like floating in space , far away from any human contact . Yet that chillness, that sense of isolation , and that very unknowability are exactly what have kept fans transfixed for decades.
Whoops did I stumble on some reddit circle jerk "great shimmering beast", I guess I care because you can fake it. Likely my least fave of all his output including power pill. It's pronounced tall if you feel like attempting shame.