Phillip Glass is a leftfield minimalist composer. Aphex Twin is an extremely leftfield electronic music producer. This song is a fusion of their enormous talents.
There’s a possibly apocryphal story about Richard D. James (Aphex) writing a letter asking Phillip Glass if he could take the Icct Hedral track from the 1995 Aphex Twin album … I Care Because You Do, and get it recorded with proper instruments. The original song is good, but it doesn’t have the same clarity and sense of tension.
Phillip Glass takes the original song and arranges it for an orchestra, and in doing so reveals the true magnificence of the song. It is a masterpiece. It’s constantly on edge, a paranoid and sombre string piece reminiscent of George Xenakis. If the song was manifested in physical form, it would be a forest of fossilised trees shrouded in fog. Terrifying, but spectacular.
The updated version of the song was released on the E.P. Donkey Rhubarb, in 1995.
Geniuses, the both of them.