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Richard D. James, with his caustic sense of humor and more intelligent than thou demeanor has often been a magnet around which the electronica community polarizes, usually falling into two categories- avid worship or scathing ridicule. Druqks will do nothing but fuel that polarity. 30 tracks across two discs of Jekyll and Hyde tempos and images will test your listening endurance to its limits. Drukqs juxtaposes maniacally precise, twisted breakbeats that are at times so fast and tightly packed they almost fade into white noise, with quieter more melodic pieces featuring classical style piano and minimalist constructions. Both types of track share an equally dark, demented atmosphere. As always, the question remains, is he taking the piss? The apparent sincerity and musicality of some of the downtempo pieces suggest not, as do other moments. For example, "54 cymrv beats" rewinds musical history and recalls the point in time where acid dripped hardcore fused itself into early drum & bass. However, the unintelligibly garbled song titles are a nod to the self- consciously indecipherable nature of the album. James comes off at times as being overtly obscure and faux avant-garde. Only the most avid fans should attempt to wade through in an attempt to salvage meaning. Nice programming skills, shame about the ego.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.