Richard James performing in Turin in 2007
|Birth name||Richard David James|
|Also known as|
|Born||18 August 1971|
Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland
|Origin||Lanner, Cornwall, England|
Richard David James (born 18 August 1971), best known by the alias Aphex Twin, is an Irish-born British musician.He is best known for his influential and idiosyncratic work in styles such as ambient techno and intelligent dance music during the 1990s, and is among the most acclaimed figures in contemporary electronic music.
Ambient techno is a 1990s offshoot of techno and ambient house that united the atmospheric textures of ambient music with the melodic and rhythmic elements of techno and electro. It was pioneered by electronic artists such as B12, Aphex Twin, the Black Dog, Higher Intelligence Agency, and Biosphere.
Intelligent dance music is a form of electronic music originating in the early 1990s which was regarded as "cerebral" and better suited to "home listening" than dancing. Emerging from electronic and rave music styles such as techno, acid house, ambient music, and breakbeat, IDM tended to rely upon individualistic experimentation rather than adhering to characteristics associated with specific genres. Prominent artists associated with the genre include Aphex Twin, μ-Ziq, the Black Dog, the Orb, the Future Sound of London, Autechre, Luke Vibert, Squarepusher, Venetian Snares and Boards of Canada.
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.
Raised in Cornwall, James began releasing acid techno records in the early 1990s under aliases such as AFX and Polygon Window. He first received widespread acclaim for his 1992 debut album Selected Ambient Works 85–92 . During this period, he became associated with UK record label Warp and co-founded the independent label Rephlex Records.He rose to mainstream popularity with the charting singles "Come to Daddy" (1997) and "Windowlicker" (1999), as well as for their music videos, both directed by Chris Cunningham.
Cornwall is a county in South West England in the United Kingdom. The county is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar which forms most of the border between them. Cornwall forms the westernmost part of the South West Peninsula of the island of Great Britain. The furthest southwestern point of Great Britain is Land's End; the southernmost point is Lizard Point. Cornwall has a population of 563,600 and covers an area of 3,563 km2 (1,376 sq mi). The county has been administered since 2009 by the unitary authority, Cornwall Council. The ceremonial county of Cornwall also includes the Isles of Scilly, which are administered separately. The administrative centre of Cornwall, and its only city, is Truro.
Acid techno is a genre of techno that developed out of late 1980s Chicago acid house, particularly its "squelching" synthesizer sound obtained by using very distinctive instruments created mainly by Roland, such as the SH-101 and TB-303 for bass and lead sounds, and the TR-707, TR-808, and TR-909 for percussion. Acid specifically refers to the use of the Roland TB-303, or any other synthesizer designed to emulate its unique sound. While modern electronic instruments have memory banks of different sounds or patches, these machines had to be manually set by adjusting control knobs. The acid sound was obtained by either setting these controls to extreme parameters, or manipulating these controls in real-time as the track was being recorded, something record producers would call tweaking.
Selected Ambient Works 85–92 is the debut studio album by Aphex Twin, the pseudonym of British electronic musician Richard D. James. It was released as a very limited import in November 1992 by Apollo Records, an imprint of the more prominent label R&S Records, and later widely in February 1993. It features tracks recorded onto cassette between 1985 and 1992. An analogue remaster was released in 2006, and a digital remaster in 2008.
After releasing the studio album Drukqs in 2001, James went into a period of inactivity as Aphex Twin, but he continued to issue music under other aliases, including the Analord EP series in 2005 as AFX, a pair of releases in 2007 as The Tuss, and an unreleased 1994 LP in 2014 as Caustic Window. James returned as Aphex Twin in 2014 with the album Syro , which won a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album.
Drukqs is the fifth studio album by Aphex Twin, a pseudonym used by English electronic musician Richard D. James. The album is a double album and peaked at number 22 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 11,476 copies in its first week of release. It was released to divided reception, with many critics dismissing it relative to his earlier work. It would be James's final album as Aphex Twin until 2014's Syro.
Analord is a series of eleven 12" vinyl records released in 2005 by UK-based electronic music artist Richard D. James, primarily under the alias AFX. The series marked James's return to primarily analogue equipment following his computer-oriented programming work in the late 1990s. After their release, James "distilled" the 3½ hour, 42-track series into the 10-track compilation album Chosen Lords (2006), effectively his first full-length release since the 2001 album Drukqs.
Syro is the sixth studio album by electronic musician Richard D. James as Aphex Twin, released on 19 September 2014 on Warp. It was James's first studio album under the name Aphex Twin since Drukqs (2001) and his first album of new material since the compilation Chosen Lords (2005).
James was born on 18 August 1971 in Limerick,the son of Welsh parents. He grew up in Lanner, Cornwall, with two older sisters, in a "very happy" childhood during which they "were pretty much left to do what [they] wanted". He enjoyed living there, feeling apart from nearby cities and the rest of the world. Some of his earliest musical experiments as a child involved James playing with the strings inside his family's piano, similar to composer John Cage's prepared piano experiments. At age nine he began purchasing tapes and tape recorders, and began recording partially as a refuge from the "bloody awful" Jesus and Mary Chain albums played by his sister. James attended Redruth School in Redruth, Cornwall, and claimed to have produced sound on a Sinclair ZX81 (a machine with no sound hardware) at age 11:
Limerick is a city in County Limerick, Ireland. It is located in the Mid-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. Limerick City and County Council is the local authority for the city. The city lies on the River Shannon, with the historic core of the city located on King's Island, which is bounded by the Shannon and the Abbey River. Limerick is also located at the head of the Shannon Estuary where the river widens before it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 94,192, Limerick is the third most populous urban area in the state, and the fourth most populous city on the island of Ireland.
Lanner is a village and civil parish in west Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated on the A393 about 2 miles (3.2 km) south-east of Redruth.
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.
|“||When I was 11, I won 50 pounds in a competition for writing this program that made sound on a ZX81. You couldn't make sound on a ZX81, but I played around with machine code and found some codes that retuned the TV signal so that it made this really weird noise when you turned the volume up.||”|
According to musician Benjamin Middleton, James began producing music the following year.At age twelve, he bought his first synthesiser, which he reassembled himself: "I started off modifying analogue synths and junk that I bought, and got addicted to making noises. That was the buzz for me. At that point, I'd never really listened to music." As a teenager he was a disc jockey at the Shire Horse Inn in St Ives, with Tom Middleton at the Bowgie Inn in Crantock and along the beaches around Cornwall. James studied at Cornwall College from 1988 to 1990 for a National Diploma in engineering. About his studies, he said "music and electronics went hand in hand". James graduated from college; according to an engineering lecturer he often wore headphones during practical lessons, "no doubt thinking through the mixes he'd be working on later".
A disc jockey, often abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title DJ is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk.
St Ives is a seaside town, civil parish and port in Cornwall. The town lies north of Penzance and west of Camborne on the coast of the Celtic Sea. In former times it was commercially dependent on fishing. The decline in fishing, however, caused a shift in commercial emphasis, and the town is now primarily a popular seaside resort, notably achieving the title of Best UK Seaside Town from the British Travel Awards in both 2010 and 2011. St Ives was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1639. St Ives has become renowned for its number of artists. It was named best seaside town of 2007 by The Guardian newspaper. It should not be confused with St Ive, a village and civil parish in south-east Cornwall.
Tom Middleton is an English electronic recording artist, music producer, remixer and DJ.
In 1989, James befriended Grant Wilson-Claridge when they were working alternating weeks as a DJ at the Bowgie pub near Newquay. Wilson-Claridge was intrigued by his sets, and when he discovered that James was playing tapes of his own music he suggested that they make records. At first, putting Aphex Twin's recordings on vinyl was a way of making music the duo's friends wanted to hear; because of their geographic isolation they could not access the music they wanted to hear, so they decided to create their own.
Newquay is a town in the south west of England, in the United Kingdom. It is a civil parish, seaside resort, regional centre for aerospace industries, future spaceport and a fishing port on the North Atlantic coast of Cornwall, approximately 12 miles (19 km) north of Truro and 20 miles (32 km) west of Bodmin.
James' first release as Aphex Twin, later changed to AFX, was the 1991 12-inch EP Analogue Bubblebath on Mighty Force Records. The track "En Trance to Exit" was recorded with Tom Middleton, also known as Schizophrenia.The EP made the playlist of Kiss FM, an influential London radio station, which helped it become successful.
In 1991, James and Wilson-Claridge founded Rephlex Records to promote "innovation in the dynamics of Acid – a much-loved and misunderstood genre of house music forgotten by some and indeed new to others, especially in Britain".From 1991 to 1993 James released two Analogue Bubblebath EPs (one without a band name on it, one as AFX) and an EP, Bradley's Beat , as Bradley Strider. Although he moved to London to take an electronics course at Kingston Polytechnic, he admitted to David Toop that his electronics studies were being evacuated as he pursued a career in the techno genre.
After leaving the Polytechnic, James remained in London, releasing albums and EPs on Warp Records and other labels under a number of aliases (including AFX, Polygon Window and Power-Pill); several of his tracks, released under aliases including Blue Calx and The Dice Man, appeared on compilations. Although he allegedly lived on the roundabout in Elephant and Castle, South London, during his early years in the city, he actually lived in a nearby unoccupied bank.
The first full-length Aphex Twin album, Selected Ambient Works 85–92 , was released in 1992 on R&S Records to critical acclaim; John Bush of Allmusic described it as a "watershed of ambient music".In 2002 Rolling Stone said about the album, "Aphex Twin expanded way beyond the ambient music of Brian Eno by fusing lush soundscapes with oceanic beats and bass lines." Pitchfork called it "among the most interesting music ever created with a keyboard and a computer". However, critics noted that the songs were recorded on cassette and their sound quality was relatively poor.
In 1992 James also released the Digeridoo (first played by DJ Colin Faver) and Xylem Tube EP as Aphex Twin, the Pac-Man EP (based on the arcade game) as Power-Pill, and two of his four Joyrex EPs ( Joyrex J4 EP and Joyrex J5 EP ) as Caustic Window. "Digeridoo" reached #55 on the UK Singles Chart, and was later described by Rolling Stone as foreshadowing drum and bass.He wrote "Digeridoo" to clear up his audience after a rave. These early releases were on Rephlex Records, Mighty Force of Exeter and R&S Records of Belgium.
In 1993 James released Analogue Bubblebath 3 ; the "On" EP and its accompanying remix EP; his second Bradley Strider EP, Bradley's Robot ; two more Caustic Window EPs and his first releases on Warp Records, Surfing on Sine Waves and "Quoth EP", as Polygon Window. Warp Records released the second Aphex Twin album, Selected Ambient Works Volume II in 1994, which explored a more purely ambient sound than its beat-driven predecessor. The track names were described with pie chart symbols, each of which was meant to be paired with a corresponding image in the album jacket (except "Blue Calx"). To decipher the titles, listeners had to compare the length of each track with the size of the pie-chart symbols; for example, the first title (often called "Cliffs"), is realised by pairing the first symbol with the first image (a rocky cliffside).James said in The Wire magazine and elsewhere that the tracks were inspired by lucid dreams and synesthesia. Other releases were a fourth Analogue Bubblebath; GAK (derived from early demos sent to Warp Records), and Classics , a compilation album with "Digeridoo" EP and the Xylem Tube EP.
For his 1995 release ...I Care Because You Do James used an image of his face for the album cover, a motif which would be repeated on many of his later records. The tracks on this album were composed between 1990 and 1994 in a range of Aphex Twin musical styles. This was James' last record during the 1990s to emphasise analogue synthesizers. He commissioned Western classical-music composer Philip Glass to create an orchestral version of "Icct Hedral" (a song on this album), which appeared on the Donkey Rhubarb EP.Also in 1995, James released his Hangable Auto Bulb EP, which spearheaded the shortlived drill 'n' bass style.
In November 1995 The Wire published an article, "Advice to Clever Children". During the production of the interview a package of tapes with music from several artists (including Aphex Twin) was sent to Karlheinz Stockhausen, who said:
|“||I heard the piece Aphex Twin of Richard James (sic) carefully: I think it would be very helpful if he listens to my work "Song of the Youth", which is electronic music, and a young boy's voice singing with himself. Because he would then immediately stop with all these post-African repetitions, and he would look for changing tempi and changing rhythms, and he would not allow to repeat any rhythm if it varied to some extent and if it did not have a direction in its sequence of variations.||”|
James, an admirer of Stockhausen, replied, "I thought he should listen to a couple of tracks of mine: "Digeridoo", then he'd stop making abstract, random patterns you can't dance to".
Richard D. James Album , James' fourth studio album as Aphex Twin, was released on Warp Records in 1996. The album includes his personal name (Richard David James) in the title and features use of software synthesizers and unconventional beats. John Bush of AllMusic noted that this was James' first studio album to work with jungle music, noting that the album was "more extreme than virtually all jungle being made at the time" with beats that were layered over the slower melodies that characterized James' earlier ambient works. Pitchfork opined that the album was one of the "aggressive combinations of disparate electronic forms when it was released", with its "almost-brutal contrast between its elements creates a seal that's locked in freshness since way back in 1996."The album garnered high acclaim from music critics, and was named 40th in Pitchfork's "Top 100 Albums of the 1990s" list. It was also placed at number 55 on NME's Top 100 Albums of All Time in 2003.
James garnered attention the following year after the release of his Come to Daddy EP. The EP's title track was conceived as a death metal parody, with James stating: "Come to Daddy came about while I was just hanging around my house, getting pissed and doing this crappy death metal jingle. Then it got marketed and a video was made, and this little idea that I had, which was a joke, turned into something huge. It wasn't right at all."Accompanied with a music video directed by Chris Cunningham, he became disenchanted by its success. It was followed by "Windowlicker", a critically and commercially successful single promoted with a music video also directed by Cunningham, which was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Video in 2000.
In 2001 Aphex Twin released Drukqs , an experimental double album featuring computer-controlled piano (influenced by Erik Satie and John Cage) and abrasive, fast, meticulously-programmed songs. Many track names are written in Cornish—for example, "Jynweythek Ylow" ("Machine Music"). Rolling Stone described the piano pieces as "aimlessly pretty".The release polarized reviewers, some believed that Drukqs was released as a contract-breaker with Warp Records, since James' next major release was on his own Rephlex label. The musician told interviewers he accidentally left an MP3 player with a large number of new songs (labelled "Aphex Twin—unreleased tracks") on a plane, and rushed the album's release to preempt an Internet leak. In 2001 James also released a short EP, 2 Remixes By AFX , with remixes of songs by 808 State and DJ Pierre. It also had an untitled third track, consisting of a SSTV image with high-pitched sounds which can be decoded to a viewable image with appropriate software (such as MultiMode for Macintosh or MMSSTV for Windows). In 2002, James was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male.
In 2005 James released his 11-part Analord series under his previously used pseudonym of AFX: 11 EPs with a total of 42 tracks (initially averaging two to four tracks per EP). The series was created by playing and sequencing analogue and digital electronic musical equipment such as synthesizers and drum machines (predominantly the Roland 303, 808 and 909 machines) recorded on magnetic tape and then pressed on vinyl. James also utilized his collection of vintage synthesizers and drum machines, some of which were rare by that time. Some record inserts have photos of rare synthesizers like the Synton Fenix, the notoriously difficult-to-program Roland MC-4 sequencer and the Roland TB-303.
James was meticulous about the process of recording, mastering and pressing. He tried a number of pressing plants until he was satisfied with the quality of each EP. James prefers vinyl or tape to digital. However, label co-owner Wilson-Claridge convinced him to release a CD compilation ( Chosen Lords ) with 10 tracks from the Analord series.
Twenty more tracks were added in December 2009 to the Analord series (available by download from the Rephlex Records website), and each EP now contains up to nine tracks.
Media speculation in 2007 suggested that Aphex Twin was recording under another new alias, The Tuss, attributed to the names "Brian Tregaskin" and "Karen Tregaskin". The Guardian newspaper and others printed rumours of The Tuss being a pseudonym of or a collaboration with Richard D. James.Contesting that, Rephlex's co-founder, Grant Wilson-Claridge, stated in a 2007 e-mail interview that The Tuss is not James, saying, "People seem more interested in speculation and celebrity than content, quality or music. Be careful you don't miss something really great that isn't really famous." However, all The Tuss tracks are published in the BMI repertoire under "James Richard David", and the two The Tuss works use a Yamaha GX1, an exceptionally rare and expensive analog synthesizer that James is known to own.
When Syro was announced in 2014, Bleep.com confirmed that The Tuss was an Aphex Twin alias.In a pre-Syro interview with Dutch magazine OOR, James finally confirmed that he had been busy, in fact, "recording two EPs as The Tuss".
In an October 2010 interview with the British magazine Another Man , James said that he had completed six albums (one of which was a remake of the unreleased Melodies from Mars , originally produced around the time of Richard D. James Album ).
In June 2011, James spoke to the Spanish newspaper El País . When asked about the six albums, James answered: "More than 10 or 11 are already compiled, and many more songs are orphans". He also said that a new album "[would] show in a while" and the reason for the delay since his last album was that he was divorcing his wife, though some fans assumed the latter comment to be a joke.In September 2011, James appeared as Aphex Twin in a live tribute to avant-garde Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. Alongside Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, James performed his remix of Penderecki's "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima", as well as a version of "Polymorphia", at the tribute concert that was held in Poland. The following month, an Aphex Twin set was part of the lineup at the Pitchfork Music Festival Paris event.
In October 2012, James brought his remote orchestra act to London for one 3-act performance including the "Interactive Tuned Feedback Pendulum Array", which paid tribute and expanded upon Steve Reich's "Pendulum Music".[ citation needed ]
On 16 June 2014, the 1994 Caustic Window LP (originally a test pressing, of which at least five copies were made and given to µ-ziq, Cylob and Rephlex co-founder Grant Wilson-Claridge) was released as a digital download to backers of a Kickstarter campaign to buy a copy of the vinyl record from an anonymous seller on Discogs. The purchase of the vinyl and the subsequent vinyl rip was organized by We Are the Music Makers, an online electronic music forum. The crowdfunding was approved by Rephlex Records and James, with each contributor receiving the right to keep their digital copy of the album.When the campaign finished, the LP was placed for auction on eBay and purchased by Markus Persson, designer of the video game Minecraft .
On 16 August 2014, a green blimp with the Aphex Twin logo and "2014" written on its side was identified flying over London, UK. The sighting of the blimp was reported in both the NME and Pitchfork music publications. Soon after, a photo on Twitter appeared showing the Aphex Twin logo sprayed on the footpath outside of Radio City Music Hall in New York City.Two days later, the Aphex Twin Twitter account posted a link to a hidden service using deep web browser Tor, providing the title and tracklist of a then-upcoming album release called Syro , which was the first Aphex Twin studio album since Drukqs in 2001.
An official press release was shared by the Pitchfork online music publication on 21 August 2014, providing readers with both the album cover artwork and further album details. Syro was released on the Warp label on 23 September 2014 and the cover artwork, which reads like a tax receipt, is by the Designers Republic brand. A limited-edition box set version of the album was released through the Bleep label, limited to 200 copies. Interested buyers were required to enter a lottery to become eligible.
On 23 January 2015, James released Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 EP .
In a November 2014 interview about Syro, James revealed another set of 21 tracks, labeled Modular Trax, that were made available on SoundCloud – both the interview and the tracks were later removed.
Between January and November 2015, an anonymous user posted 268 tracks on SoundCloud (later removing the tracks "4 Red Calx" and "5 Girl Boy Dark Version"), under the names "user487363530", "user4873635301", "user48736353001", and finally "user18081971".Philip Sherburne stated on Pitchfork:
|“||... the hallmarks of the production recall specific moments in James' catalogue ... you can hear the same machines, the same processes, and above all, the same ideas—if this isn't James, then it's a musician who's every bit his peer, and what are the chances of one of those going undiscovered for all these years?||”|
Mike Paradinas (aka μ-Ziq) who worked with James on the 1996 Expert Knob Twiddlers album, confirmed the authenticity of several of the tracks.That same day, the official Aphex Twin Twitter account tweeted a link to the SoundCloud page for the user named "user48736353001". In a piece for the Guardian, Stuart Aitken argued that Aphex Twin's experiments with SoundCloud and other digital media should encourage musicians to similarly explore the creative opportunities of the internet.
On 27 February 2015, James created the "saw 1.5" playlist on SoundCloud, comprising 11 tracks from the hundred or so posted over the months, presumably tracks that did not make it onto Selected Ambient Works 85–92. He commented that "there are more, inc. versions of the tracks that were released on SAW 1, those will come out on a re-release one day hopefully, so saving those for that." In May, James compiled 36 of the posted tracks as the playlist "Surfing on Sine Waves 2", with the statement "Would love to release this on Warp, all mastered properly, maybe a double album."
On 6 May 2015 James' secondary SoundCloud account, along with the 200+ tracks shared, were deleted without any explanation. Two days later the account was resurrected with all 200+ tracks and comments intact under the name "user18081971". The new username refers to Richard's birthday, which is 18 August 1971.
On 1 July 2015, Richard uploaded a new track to the official Aphex Twin SoundCloud account, announcing a new EP, titled Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 , returning to his AFX moniker for the first time since the Analord series.Almost all of the SoundCloud tracks on the user18081971 account have since been removed.
On 5 June 2016, Aphex Twin released a poster teasing his upcoming EP Cheetah . The EP contained some of the tracks Richard uploaded to SoundCloud.The EP was released on 8 July. A music video was released for "CIRKLON3 [Колхозная mix]", directed by Ryan Wyer, a then-12 year old Aphex Twin fan from Rush, County Dublin. Wyer had been uploading videos about his interest in Aphex Twin for some time, which caught the attention of James and Warp, who asked him to create an official video. It was the first official music video for an Aphex Twin track to have been made in 17 years.
On 17 December 2016, James performed in Houston, Texas at the Day for Night festival, his first American appearance in 8 years. An untitled 12-inch vinyl was sold exclusively at the festival, containing two 10-minute tracks, which appear to be alternative versions of the same material.
On 3 June 2017, James performed at the Field Day festival and released the limited edition EP London 03.06.17 . James' performance was livestreamed by NTS Radio and uploaded to YouTube.The next day, following his performance at the Forbidden Fruit Festival in Kilmainham, County Dublin, Ryan Wyer was brought out onstage with his parents to greet the audience. Wyer uploaded a vlog of his experience backstage during James' performance.
On 19 June 2017, a Ypsilanti record store called Technical Equipment Supply (TECH.EQPT.SPLY) released an in-store only Aphex record that featured two tracks from the SoundCloud dump.
On 5 June 2017, an unexplained timer appeared on his website.On 20 June 2017, this was revealed to have been a countdown to a new online store. The store includes about half of his albums, each with unreleased bonus tracks, some of which were previously released on SoundCloud. The store also includes an official, expanded version of the album released during his Field Day performance, plus an album accompanying his interview with ex-Korg engineer Tatsuya Takahashi.
With the new store open, James has stated that his current project is a compilation of ambient tracks from his early period to be released as "Selected Ambient Works 1.5" (which will be somewhat similar to the playlist of the same name he released in 2015). The compilation is planned to be released digitally as well as on vinyl.
On 28 July 2018, the Aphex Twin logo was found posted on the walls of the Elephant and Castle station in south London, on a wall in central Turin in Italy, and on the side of Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard. These sudden appearances of the logo prompted rumors of a possible new album release.On 7 August 2018 it was confirmed that a new EP, titled Collapse , will be released on 14 September 2018. The name of the EP was first announced on August 5 in a garbled press release written in broken English and visually distorted with the same Aphex Twin 3D graphic found in London, Turin and Hollywood.
A promotional video for the Collapse EP was going to be broadcast on Adult Swim, but it was cancelled after failing the Harding test. It was made available online instead and the official music video for the song "T69 Collapse" was uploaded to YouTube.
In a September 1997 interview with Space Age Bachelor magazine, James said he composed ambient music at age 13, had "over 100 hours" of unreleased music and had invented music-composition software consisting of algorithmic processes which automatically generated rhythm and melody. In the interview, he also claimed to have experienced synesthesia and incorporated lucid dreaming into his compositions.In a 1993 interview with Simon Reynolds, James claimed voluntary sleep deprivation as an influence on his productions.
In 2001, The Guardian described James' musical lineage as Stockhausen, John Cage, Kraftwerk, Brian Eno and Derrick May.Acknowledging another influence, James released Music from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop : a compilation of music recorded by the pioneers of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (including Delia Derbyshire) on Rephlex. Although he has said "I don't really like rock & roll" he appreciates Led Zeppelin (as a source of "great breakbeats"), and Pink Floyd (for their psychedelic music).
James' Rephlex Records, which he co-owned with Grant Wilson-Claridge, coined the word "braindance" in 1991 to describe Aphex Twin's music.According to the label: "Braindance is the genre that encompasses the best elements of all genres, e.g. traditional, classical, electronic music, popular, modern, industrial, ambient, hip-hop, electro, house, techno, breakbeat, hardcore, ragga, garage, drum and bass, etc." In a review of Astrobotnia's Parts 1, 2 & 3 Rephlex release, a Pitchfork writer said in 2002:
|“||Breakbeats liberated producers from the impositions of relentless four-to-the-floor stomping, and "braindance" escaped the mind/body binary opposition of electronic music—here was a rhythmically hyper, complex genre that retained its club roots by appending fantastically supple limbs to the listener's fervid imagination.||”|
Intelligent dance music (IDM) is mentioned on the home page of the Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) mailing list (created in August 1993) about the music of Aphex Twin and the Artificial Intelligence Series released by Warp Records.The series features James' recordings as Polygon Window and early productions from artists including Autechre, Black Dog, Richie Hawtin's FUSE project and Speedy J. The term spread to the United States and internet message boards. James responded to the IDM term in a 1997 interview:
|“||I just think it's really funny to have terms like that. It's basically saying, "this is intelligent and everything else is stupid." It's really nasty to everyone else's music. (laughs) It makes me laugh, things like that. I don't use names. I just say that I like something or I don't.||”|
James' face, grinning or distorted, is a theme of his album covers, music videos and songs. According to him, it began as a response to techno producers who concealed their identities:
|“||I did it because the thing in techno you weren't supposed to do was to be recognized and stuff. The sort of unwritten rule was that you can't put your face on the sleeve. It has to be like a circuit board or something. Therefore I put my face on the sleeve. That's why I originally did it. But then I got carried away.||”|
The cover of ...I Care Because You Do features a painting of James, and that of Richard D. James Album has a close-up photograph. His face is superimposed on the bodies of other people in the music videos for "Come to Daddy" and "Windowlicker". Near the end of the second track of the "Windowlicker" single (known as "Equation"), a photo of James' face is a steganogram which is revealed as a spectrogram.Another image of James and collaborator Tom Jenkinson is embedded (in SSTV format) with text in the third track of 2 Remixes by AFX, "Bonus High Frequency Sounds". He has used his own photography for some releases, including the album sleeve for Selected Ambient Works Volume II .
James has recorded as AFX, Blue Calx, Bradley Strider, The Universal Indicator, Brian Tregaskin, Caustic Window, The, Smojphace, GAK, Karen Tregaskin, Martin Tressider, PBoD (Phonic Boy on Dope), Polygon Window, Power-Pill, Q-Chastic, Dice Man, The Tuss, and Soit-P.P.In a 1997 interview, James commented on the difference between works released under different names, saying "There's really no big theory. It's just things that I feel right in doing at the time and I really don't know why. I select songs for certain things and I just do it. I don't know what it means".
In a 2001 interview, Richard D. James commented on the ambiguous nature of his own releases and the speculation that surrounds many anonymous artists working in electronica: "a lot of people think everything electronic is mine. I get credited for so many things, it's incredible. I'm practically everyone, I reckon—everyone and nobody".
Writing in The Guardian in 2001, journalist Paul Lester described James as "the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music".AllMusic's John Bush wrote that, "unlike most artists who emerged from the '90s techno scene, James established himself as a genuine personality, known for his cheeky grin and nightmare-inducing music videos as much as his groundbreaking albums and EPs," which helped to "expand his audience from ravers and critics to rock fans, with numerous non-electronic musicians citing him as an inspiration".
In 2007 Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk cited Aphex Twin (particularly "Windowlicker") as an influence for the duo's 2001 album Discovery . Bangalter said he liked it because "It wasn't a big club beat, but it also wasn't a laid back, quiet one.".
In 2013, Thom Yorke of Radiohead named Aphex Twin as his biggest influence, saying: "He burns a heavy shadow ... Aphex opened up another world that didn't involve my fucking electric guitar ... I hated all the music that was around Radiohead at the time, it was completely fucking meaningless. I hated the Britpop thing and what was happening in America, but Aphex was totally beautiful, and he's kind of my age too."In 2002, asked if he would tour with Radiohead, James said "I wouldn't play with them since I don't like them".
Mike Edwards of Jesus Jones, speaking at the release of Perverse in early 1993, described James as an influence.
His 1994 song "#5" from Selected Ambient Works Volume II was slowed down and made into the song "City of Lost Angels". This version was featured in the 1997 game Fallout from Interplay Entertainment.[ citation needed ]
In 2005 Alarm Will Sound released Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin , acoustic arrangements of James' electronic tracks.
The London Sinfonietta performed arrangements of Aphex Twin songs in 2006.
Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante said that Aphex Twin is "the best thing since sliced bread", and his Outsides EP and PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone are examples of James' influence.
Minimalist composer Steve Reich, who James remixed for his "Pendulum Music" piece, has praised James and commended his work.
James premiered new music with Radiohead guitarist-composer Jonny Greenwood in a 2011 collaboration with Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.
Animator David Firth has much of his work soundtracked by Aphex Twin.
In 2012, a Fact magazine review of the 100 best albums of the 1990s listed the LP Selected Ambient Works 85–92 in No.1 position.
In June 2014, Answer Code Request (Patrick Gräser) called James "one producer who always inspires" him in the "Influences" section of the Ransom Note website. Gräser used the Aphex Twin song "Analogue Bubblebath 1" to exemplify James' influence: "I guess being obsessed with your own music is what makes him that brilliant."
In June 2014, Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit stated "Cliffs" or possibly "Rhubarb" from Selected Ambient Works II as being the song he would listen to for the rest of his life if he had to pick one.
In December 2015, Skrillex briefly mentioned how "some of his favourite music pieces of all time are by Aphex Twin".
James described himself in a Guardian interview: "I'm just some irritating, lying, ginger kid from Cornwall who should have been locked up in some youth detention centre. I just managed to escape and blag it into music."In a 1996 interview, he claimed that three years prior to his birth, his mother gave birth to a son also named Richard who died at birth, leaving James to subsequently inherit his name and "take his place;" his brother's alleged gravestone would be featured on the Girl/Boy EP cover artwork.
In the mid-1990s, he bought a former bank in the Elephant & Castle area of London, where he claimed to live in a converted vault.He also mischievously claimed in a 2001 interview to have bought the steel structure in the center of the roundabout, though this is in fact the Michael Faraday Memorial which houses an electricity substation for the London Underground. In the 1990s, James bought a 1950's-era Daimler Ferret Mark 3 "tank" (technically an armoured car), complete with working machine gun, which he would drive around town while living in Cornwall in lieu of a car. He stated that it "pisses over virtual reality or any computer game I've ever played." He also claimed to have bought a submarine.
In a 2010 interview with Fact , James revealed that he was living in Scotland at the time after relocating from London—according to FACT, he "extolled the virtues" of his new residential location. As of 2014 [update] , he lives in Scotland with his two sons—from his first marriage —and his second wife, a Russian art student. According to James, his sons both make music.
|1998||MTV Video Music Awards||Best Special Effects||"Come to Daddy"||Nominated|
|D&AD Awards||Pop Promo Video with a budget over £40.000||Yellow Pencil|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Video||Nominated|
|Prix Ars Electronica||Digital Music||Himself||Won|
|Online Music Awards||Best Electronic Fansite||Nominated|
|2000||Brit Awards||Best British Video||"Windowlicker"||Nominated|
|D&AD Awards||Direction||Yellow Pencil|
|NME Awards||Single of the Year||Won|
|2002||Best Dance Act||Himself||Nominated|
|Brit Awards||British Male Solo Artist||Nominated|
|Shortlist Music Prize||Album of the Year||Drukqs||Nominated|
|2005||Antville Music Video Awards||Best Video||"Rubber Johnny"||Nominated|
|2014||Rober Awards Music Poll||Best Male Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Comeback of the Year||Nominated|
|2015||Grammy Awards||Best Dance/Electronica Album||Syro||Won|
|International Dance Music Awards||Best Full Length Studio Recording||Nominated|
|Mercury Prize||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|A2IM Libera Awards||Nominated|
|Creative Packaging Award||Won|
|Marketing Genius||Syro album release campaign||Nominated|
|2016||Brit Awards||British Male Solo Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|2018||UK Video Music Awards||Best Dance Video||"T69 Collapse"||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects in a Video||Nominated|
|Best Animation in a Video||Nominated|
|2019||Classic Pop Reader Awards||Video of the Year||Pending|
|Brit Awards||British Male Solo Artist||Himself||Pending|
Studio albums as Aphex Twin
Rephlex Records was a record label first started in 1991 in Cornwall by electronic musician Richard D. James and Grant Wilson-Claridge. The label coined the term braindance to describe the otherwise uncategorisable output of Aphex Twin and fellow artists output.
Luke Vibert is a British electronic musician and producer, best known for his work under several aliases such as Plug and Wagon Christ. Raised in Cornwall, Vibert began releasing projects in the 1990s across varied genres, including techno, drum 'n' bass, and trip hop. He has recorded on labels such as Rephlex, Ninja Tune, Planet Mu, and Warp.
...I Care Because You Do is the third studio album by electronic musician Richard D. James under the alias Aphex Twin, released on 24 April 1995. The album contains tracks recorded between 1990 and 1994, and marked James's return to a percussive sound following the largely beatless Selected Ambient Works Volume II (1994). The cover artwork is a self-portrait by James.
Richard D. James Album is the self-titled fourth studio album by British electronic musician Richard D. James, under his pseudonym Aphex Twin. In the United Kingdom, the album was released on 4 November 1996 through Warp. In the United States, it was released on 28 January 1997 by Sire Records, with the Girl/Boy EP included as bonus tracks. A reissue on vinyl was released on 18 September 2012.
Selected Ambient Works Volume II is the second studio album by English electronic musician Aphex Twin, released by Warp on 7 March 1994. Billed as a follow-up to James's debut Selected Ambient Works 85–92, the album differs in sound by being largely beatless ambient music. James claimed that it was inspired by lucid dreaming, and likened the music to "standing in a power station on acid."
Cylob is a British electronic musician and producer closely associated with Aphex Twin. He has produced seven albums, three compilations and a number of remixes. Previously signed to Rephlex records, Jeffs started his own digital label Cylob Industries in 2007. His most well-known tracks include "Rewind" and "Cut The Midrange, Drop The Bass".
Classics is an electronic music compilation album by Richard D. James, more commonly known by his pseudonym of Aphex Twin. The album was released in December 1994.
Chosen Lords is a compilation album by Richard D. James, released under the aliases AFX and Aphex Twin. It is a CD compilation of selected tracks previously released on the vinyl-only Analord series. Limited edition copies distributed with a poster were offered on Warpmart to encourage pre-ordering.
Seefeel are a British post-rock band formed in the early 1990s by Mark Clifford, Daren Seymour (bass), Justin Fletcher (drums), and Sarah Peacock. Bridging the guitar-based dream pop and shoegaze scenes with the production techniques of ambient techno and electronica, they gained recognition for their 1993 debut EP More Like Space and first album Quique, both on the British independent label Too Pure. The band signed with electronic label Warp Records in 1994, also releasing an album on Rephlex in 1996. Following several subsequent releases, Seefeel went on an extended hiatus in 1997.
The Smojphace EP is a 2003 EP by electronic music artist Richard D. James under one of his commonly known aliases, AFX. The EP was released through MEN Records, a Rephlex Records sublabel.
"minipops 67 [120.2]" is a song by the English electronic musician Richard D James, credited under the pseudonym Aphex Twin. It is the opening track and lead single from Aphex Twin's sixth studio album, Syro (2014).
Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 is an extended play by the British electronic musician Richard D James. It was released under the pseudonym Aphex Twin on 23 January 2015 on Warp. It is meant as a companion piece to his fifth studio album, Drukqs (2001). It received mixed reviews and placed in several international record charts, including the United States Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart, where it peaked at number one.
"MARCHROMT30A edit 2b 96" is a song by the English electronic musician Richard D James, credited under the pseudonym Aphex Twin. It serves as the second single and the Japanese bonus track from Aphex Twin's sixth studio album, Syro.
Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006–08 is an EP by Richard D. James, released under his AFX moniker, the first EP under that alias since 2005's Analord. It was announced by Warp Records on 2 July 2015, with a listing appearing on Bleep.com on the same day. An announcement for the EP also appeared on the Aphex Twin Twitter account on that date. Along with Warp Records' announcement, "serge fenix Rendered 2", the first track on the EP, was made available for streaming on SoundCloud. The EP was re-released with extra tracks on James' Bleep Store on 20 July 2017.
Collapse is an extended play by British electronic musician Richard D. James under the pseudonym Aphex Twin. It was released on 14 September 2018 on Warp. The extended play received universal acclaim from music critics, who praised James for returning to his signature "Aphex Twin" sound.
Aphex Twin wrote about Drukqs: "mostly written in Playerpro for the mac, my fave tracker, wish it would be brought back, had some amazing features and i helped code a bunch of top dsp fx for it"
Introduced to Reason by Aphex Twin, legendary electronica producer Luke Vibert has released records since 1993 under plenty of aliases – Wagon Christ, Plug, Kerrier District, The Ace of Clubs, to name a few – on such labels as Rephlex Ninja Tune, Astralwerks and Warp.
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