"Selected Ambient Works 85-92" sows the seeds for the majority of the IDM and ambient techno genres as we know them today. This record only furthers
the notion that Aphex Twin's Richard D. James is a true innovator of electronic music. The earliest performances on "Selected Ambient Works"
were recorded when James was only 14. The songs on this album don't seem experimental or original compared to today's electronic music. When viewed
in context of the times, however, these songs sound like nothing that came before them. It is evident in these early recordings just how far James' influence has reached. Don't expect the familiar Aphex Twin sound on this album though. After all, this record predates modern computer technology; so no cuts and clicks. The bulk of the songs feature fairly basic rhythms and sounds although they are tweaked enough to remain interesting throughout. The albums only vocal sample comes in "We are the Music Makers," with the soundbyte lifted from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." The track that is most representative of the Aphex Twin sound that would eventually follow is "Green Calx." This song, one of the album's standout tracks is darker in tone and features assorted machine sounds and other random noise samples over an uptempo drum machine beat. All in all, this album is a pleasant and entertaining listen. Most importantly though, it serves as the catalyst to a constantly growing IDM scene. I recommend this album to any fan of electronic music.