Anorak | Your Vital Beginners Guide to Aphex Twin

Your Vital Beginners Guide to Aphex Twin

by | 5th, September 2014

A 1997 Aphex Twin Tour Itinerary is displayed at the new exhibit titled "Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Cleveland. Big Day Out is one of the most successful and long running festivals in the world. The exhibit, which tells the story of the music festival, opens Friday and runs through Jan. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)



THERE’S a lot of excitement about Aphex Twin at the minute, as he’s back to release a new LP ‘Syro’ and, for fans of awkward electronic music (which are, ostensibly, the new prog generation), any appearance of Richard D. James is worth your attention.

However, what with Aphex having a lot of stubborn male fans, if you’re new to it all, you will almost certainly run into some elitist bullshit at some point; even though Aphex Twin is not at all elitist himself, getting angry when people refer to his music as ‘IDM’, which stands for the achingly awful ‘Intelligent Dance Music’.

So, you want to know what the fuss about Aphex Twin is?

Well, we’re here to help and create a beginners/bluffers guide, so you can dip your toe in and find out whether he’s for you or not. He’s got a few pseudonyms too, so he can he quite hard to keep up with, but once you’re in, that’s part of the fun.

Pull up a chair, pop your ears, and let us commence.



Aphex Twin ‘Windowlicker’

Aphex released two of his most popular records back-to-back, with the watershed bothering ‘Come To Daddy’ frightening everyone half to death, and then, the infamous ‘Windowlicker’.



Aphex Twin – ‘minipops (source field mix)’

The first track to be shared from Richard James’ new album, ‘Syro’. Quite playful and sounds a bit like (the also brilliant) Plaid. This is the first proper new release from Aphex in ages.




Aphex Twin ‘Avril 14th

From his patchy ‘Drukqs’ LP, Aphex Twin veered from brutal and glitchy drill ‘n’ bass, to most pastoral, pleasant piano work, like ‘Avril 14th’, which Richard James accused Kanye West of stealing.




AFX ‘Flow Coma’

Under his AFX guise, James released a double A-side white label, where he remixed a couple of tracks for shits and giggles. ‘Flow Coma’ sees him getting an acid track and turning it inside out. One of the most brilliant things he’s ever done.




Caustic Window ‘Stomper 101mod Detunekik’

Richard James also puts work out as Caustic Window. This year, the master of the unreleased LP found itself on a Kickstarter thing and now it is out in the wide world. Strange that Aphex felt we weren’t ready for this, given what he was putting out at the time.




Aphex Twin ‘Donkey Rhubarb’

Here we find Aphex Twin in all-out playful mode, which is not a thing to be sniffed at in the too-frequently po-faced world of electronic music. This track’s video is creepy and funny, which is what James excels in.




Aphex Twin ‘Yellow Calx’

One of the stand-out tracks from the ‘Richard D. James’ album, which is arguably the best in James’ back catalogue. This body of work was a real game-changer and everyone suddenly started to look at processing beats differently. Even Timbaland managed to incorporate some of this beat-mangling into his work.




Aphex Twin – ‘Bucephalus Bouncing Ball’

The b-side to ‘Come To Daddy’, this track shows just how breakneck Richard James’ mind works. This has to be seen at one of Aphex’s gigs to understand how punishing his music can be. It rattles along like a usual Aphex track, before breaking down into a bouncing ball, which somehow, James turns into a beat. This kind of thing makes

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Posted: 5th, September 2014 | In: Key Posts, Music Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink