The Tuss

Rushup Edge | Rephlex
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  July 30, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
Things often are not as they seem — then again, often they are. Rumor has it that the mysterious UK electronic music artist known as the Tuss is not a young, unknown talent named Brian Tregaskin but rather the inimitable Richard D. James (a/k/a Aphex Twin, AFX, Polygon Window, and so forth ad infinitum). The evidence in support of James as Tuss includes a pair of suspicious MySpace pages, the fact that Tuss’s debut has been released by James’s Rephlex label, and the Cornwall connection: Tuss is Cornish slang for “erection” and James hails from Cornwall. There’s also the prominent use of a very rare, very expensive Yamaha GX1 synth on Rushup Edge that James is known to own. But it’s the Tuss’s music that makes the most persuasive argument. With its funky, flatulent synths, disjointed melodies, and razor-edged beats, it all sounds very Jamesian. The brilliant first two tracks, “Synthacon 9” and “Last Rushup 10,” are textbook Aphex with their complex rhythmic patterns and deft bass lines. Besides, who but James would deliver the gabba-break madness of “Death Fuck” and then turn around and serve up a lush, lovely, strange, and unnerving track like “Goodbye Rute?” Not that it really matters. The Tuss by any other name . . .
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