Aphex Twin: "minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]"
I remember exactly the first time I listened to an Aphex Twin track. It was back in 2012; I was in my car with a friend of mine who is, quite possibly, the only human being I know more musically curious than myself. Sitting in my parked car with nothing to do in our suburban, residential town, we would jam to tracks and look up new music to try and enjoy. In this particular instance my friend put on “Windowlicker” by Aphex Twin, and told me it would change my life. Admittedly, I was skeptical at first; maybe it was the shred of music snobbery inside of me that suggested that if I didn’t know it, it couldn’t possibly be good enough to have a profound effect on me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Aphex Twin, otherwise known as Richard David James, is a UK based producer and electronic musician. His unique style stems from the vast amount of technology and software he has used (some of which is homemade by James himself) to manipulate sound, as well as his wildly eclectic body of works. James began producing what was to be put on his first studio album in 1985, a time during which the public (especially in the US) surely did not embrace ambient or electronic music. The term IDM—Intelligent Dance Music—surely did not exist at this time. He was, therefore, extremely ahead of his time; listen to any of his albums and his mastery of electronic music is evident compared to electronic musicians of even this decade.
I cannot get over how excited I was when I heard that Aphex Twin had released a new track and will subsequently be releasing a new studio album—his first official release in roughly 10 years or so. This track, dubbed “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]" brings the layered, rough synths of Selected Works 85-92, the manipulated vocal fry of some early 2000s Aphex Twin, the driving maximalist force of The Richard D James Album, and contemporary IDM sound together to create something that is nostalgic but also very new and exciting in terms of the direction of Aphex Twin. I have extremely high hopes for the upcoming album, Syro, and the rest of what Aphex Twin has to offer, as he has mentioned that Syro will not be his last project. In the not so distant future, James will surely continue to display his growth as an electronic musician, and will continue to inspire many IDM musicians that could only hope to attain such a masterful knowledge of electronic music. If it were not for Richard D. James, I don’t know if I would have wanted to explore the world of production myself. Enjoy the new track and let us know what you think!