Surfing on Sine Waves

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Surfing on Sine Waves
Polygon Window - Surfing on Sine Waves.jpg
Studio album by Polygon Window
Released 11 January 1993 (1993-01-11)
Length 56:58
Producer Richard D. James
Aphex Twin chronology
Xylem Tube EP
(1992)Xylem Tube EP1992
Surfing on Sine Waves
Artificial Intelligence series chronology
Artificial Intelligence
(1992) Artificial Intelligence1992
Surfing on Sine Waves
(1993) Surfing on Sine Waves1993
(1993) Bytes1993
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork 8.1/10[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[3]
Select 5/5[4]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 7/10[5]

Surfing on Sine Waves is an album by Polygon Window, a pseudonym for the English electronic music producer Richard D. James, better known by the alias Aphex Twin. It was released on 11 January 1993 by Warp[6] in the United Kingdom, Wax Trax! Records and TVT Records in the United States, SME Records in Japan and by Zomba Records in Germany. It is the second release in Warp's Artificial Intelligence series. Warp released "Quoth" as a single in March 1993.

Recording details[edit]

After hearing James' early material as Aphex Twin on Belgium's R&S Records, Warp contacted James and offered him a recording contract. Richard D. James is listed as the creator of the music; however, his name is printed over the brown cliff on the back of the album, so it is not easily seen without careful scrutiny. The full text reads, "Writing, programming, arranging, engineering, producing + location recording by Richard D. James at Llannerlog Studios, Cornwall." An image of him running down a flight of stairs can also be found inside the liner notes. This image was later used on the Quoth single.

The album is a collection of largely instrumental electronic music (a few vocal samples are included in places, including one from the Broadway musical The Sound of Music). It was most likely recorded by James onto cassettes in his bedroom studio (similar to the production of Selected Ambient Works 85-92), using a limited range of available drum machines, synthesizers, sequencers and samplers, some of which he may have modified himself. The equipment included staples such as the Roland TB-303 bass synth/sequencer and Roland TR-606 drum machine on the Untitled track, a Roland R-8 digital drum machine, and low-budget synths such as the Yamaha DX100. Digital piano sample sounds are also used. Most of the tracks feature insistent drum machine patterns (the ambient "Quino-phec" being an exception) and James' characteristic angular and modal melodies. James makes liberal use of lengthy digital reverberation, giving a spacious feel to the tracks.

The album was re-released in North America in 2001 by Warp[7] to celebrate the opening of its American division (albums by Warp had been distributed in the United States through licensing deals with many labels—this one was originally released on Wax Trax!/TVT Records there). The re-release features two previously unreleased tracks that were recorded during the same time this album was created.

An edited version of the track "Polygon Window", credited to James as the Dice Man, was featured on the first album in the Artificial Intelligence series, the compilation Artificial Intelligence.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Richard D. James.

1993 release[edit]

  1. "Polygon Window" – 5:24
  2. "Audax Powder" 4:36
  3. "Quoth" – 5:34 (About this sound sample )
  4. "If It Really Is Me" – 7:01
  5. "Supremacy II" – 4:04
  6. "UT1 – dot" – 5:17
  7. (untitled) – 6:24
  8. "Quixote" – 6:00
  9. "Quino – phec" – 4:42

2001 US re-release[edit]

  1. "Polygon Window" – 5:24
  2. "Audax Powder" – 4:36
  3. "Quoth" – 5:34
  4. "If It Really Is Me" – 7:01
  5. "Supremacy II" – 4:04
  6. "UT1 – dot" – 5:17
  7. (untitled) – 6:24
  8. "Quixote" – 6:00
  9. "Portreath Harbour" – 4:44
  10. "Redruth School" – 2:43
  11. "Quino – phec" – 4:42

2017 re-release bonus track[edit]

  1. "clissold 101[dat28 otari] 48k" – 5:43


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Surfing on Sine Waves – Polygon Window". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 November 2017. 
  2. ^ Richard-San, Mark (18 March 2002). "Polygon Window: Surfing on Sine Waves". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2 November 2017. 
  3. ^ Frere-Jones, Sasha (2004). "Aphex Twin". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 21–23. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  4. ^ Howe, Rupert (March 1993). "Polygon Window: Surfing on Sine Waves". Select (33): 73. 
  5. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  6. ^ "Warp Records | Polygon Window | Surfing on Sine Waves | WARP7". Warp. Archived from the original on 8 November 2001. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "Aphex Twin: Polygon Window Re-issue". Warp. 24 February 2001. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 

External links[edit]