The past two years has seen pioneering electronica, drill and bass, ambient et al influencer Aphex Twin return to the music releasing fold after years of near silence. We still don't know for sure what has prompted the return to action, but maybe the bigger question should be what lead to the years of inaction in the first place.

New mini album Cheetah is the follow-up to last year's Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments "outtakes" record, itself a bunch of short tunes that never made it onto 2014's maddening, flexible beat giver and semi concept LP Syro. We've also in this period had the action packed acid wobble Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 release under the pseudonym AFX, not to mention his dropping of dozens of mysterious-- and mostly quite wonderful-- old tracks on Soundcloud.

New seven-track release Cheetah-- apparently named after a famoulsy awkward synth from the eary '90s that's no longer avaiable-- on first listen appears more carefully paced, immediate, even accessible in comparison to these other recent records.

The ping-pong, super elasticized rhythms, crisp pads, and old school ticking clock beats on 'CHEETAHT7B' are quite one-paced and economical. But when listened to a touch more carefully one can only be impressed by its minute shape shifting. It's loose hanging and yet at the same time delicately pieced together. Likewise on 'CHEETAHT2 [Ld spectrum]', where the beats seem fixed, but listened to more carefully it appears a touch sordid and flawed. This matched with those '90s sounding IDM synths, and empty stomach-like waveforms all help make the track another album highlight.

The record's preview cut 'CIRKLON3 [kolkhoznaya mix]' might go on a touch too long, but yet more boxy breaks, curved synth funk, and a curious spacey disco feel and this seems to be Aphex Twin in retro-futurist mode. After a couple of mid album fillers things pick up in tempo for the final two cuts; 'Cirklon1' and '2X202-ST5'. The former especially showing off a springy electrofunk workout, the latter full of plenty of the already mentioned super fast rubbber-form beats, as well as retroish synth touches.

It's no surprise-- considering who it's by-- that Cheetah is an impressive production job; correct and yet incorrect, laid-back and yet wonky. Most of all, though, it's quite an enjoyable listen. It's all possibly about as boxed and pared down as Richard D James has sounded. Maybe we're the victims of a bit of wry humour.