Friday, November 22, 2013

NOT GOOD: aphex twin - "polynomial c" - maceo plex edit

over the years i've tried to keep my writing here as positive as possible, because generally, i'd rather discuss stuff i like, not stuff i don't like. but that doesn't mean i'm not often stumbling into something that leaves me unimpressed or worse. so, i've decided to start a new and probably infrequent series of blog posts under the title NOT GOOD, in order to express my opinions against some of those things.

my first order of business concerns a new and baffling attempt to re-contextualize a classic piece of electronic music: aphex twin's "polynomial-c". first put out on R&S in 1992, it is a triumph of a track that defies easy classification. part breakbeat, part techno, whatever... indulge in all its glory below.

yesterday, maceo plex - aka maetrik; real name eric estornel - uploaded a track to soundcloud. its precise name is Aphex Twin "Polynomial C" Maceo Plex edit and you can stream and download it here [update - youtube link]. fast-paced and brilliantly bombastic in its original form, this take on "polynomial-c" is slowed down considerably, its nearly unhinged rhythms chained to a dry-hump tech-house groove with no features worthy of description. why, exactly, was this necessary?

according to a text accompanying the track, it was designed for dj use in "a modern techno set". i have a different way of defining "modern techno" but that's beside the point. this is what i hear: something unique reduced to something that's mostly generic; something timeless (or at least close to it, damnit) twisted to fit a certain perception of what sounds good now. and of course, putting your name on it and making it free to download brings to mind those ethical and legal questions (admittedly hard to answer) regarding the re-purposing of someone else's commercially available music.

probably anticipating criticism, the artist himself appears to have set his defense, saying in the text with the track: "dear haters, this is not a remix, it's an edit". fair enough, but it is a Maceo Plex edit, ensuring proper attribution for what sounds to me like one big, awful, unnecessary joke. there's a reason i've never before mentioned maceo plex on smilecoldanatomy. i just don't like his music. but this thing needs to be called what it is: rubbish!

[update - it looks like maceo plex has removed the track from his soundcloud page, but it can still be found on youtube.]


  1. This "edit" not remix, gave me nightmares the first time I heard it, and I have to agree with you that it's complete rubbish and totally unnecessary. I didn't wanted to be negative instantly, but then I realized that it really bothers me. And the thought that it was designed for dj use in "a modern techno set" is really annoying and narrow minded.