Leaving aside Sam Smith's four Awards, the other surprise at this year's Grammy's was Aphex Twin getting Best Dance/Electronic Album for Syro, his first 'proper' album in 13 years. To say 'I liked their/his/her early stuff' has become a music cliche, but if ever there was an artist to which this genuinely applied it would surely be Richard James.
His early 90s releases - bits of the Analogue Bubblebath series, Surfing on Sine Waves, the On single and particularly the two Selected Ambient Works volumes - were great (and, in SAW Vol.II's case, brilliant). But by the mid-90s he - in my view - had run out of ideas, and by the turn of the century the releases dried up completely. There were bits & pieces under different names since then but nothing really of any note.
Then, a few months ago, Syro appears. I bought it, probably against my better judgement, hoping for I know not what. It's OK, even good in parts, and better than Drukqs, but hardly earth-shattering - and really doesn't live up to the critical hyperbole that continues to be heaped on him. But what do I know? It's a Grammy-winner.
Oh, and glad to see there's a category, Best Regional Mexican Music Album, won for the first time this year by an actual Mexican.