A song for today #31: Aphex Twin

Aphex Twin

Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin, will release the Cheetah EP on Warp on July 7.

The tracklisting for the EP is as follows:

1.CHEETAHT2 [Ld spectrum]
3.CHEETA1b ms800
4.CHEETA2 ms800
5.CIRKLON3 [ ????????? mix ]
7.2X202-ST5 (Digital Bonus Track)

A video for the track ‘CIRKLON3 [ ????????? mix ]’ has been unveiled, the first music video for an Aphex Twin track since ‘Windowlicker’ in 1999. It was directed by Ryan Wyer, aged 12, from Co. Dublin. The video contains visual motifs similar to the Aphex Twin videos directed by Chris Cunningham in the 1990s, and the track shows an influence of computer games…

Album Review – Aphex Twin


Aphex Twin – ‘Syro’ (Warp)

This record has been a long time coming, to say the least. Apart from a series of 12″ singles nearly ten years ago, the last album from Richard D. James was 2001’s Drukqs. Such is the mystique and legend surrounding the man, that there has been much excitement over the past few months with every little tease across the internet picked up and analysed by fans. The fact that as I write this album is heading for the the album top three should come as no surprise, rather a reflection of the quality and the legend.

Album opener ‘minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]’was the first track to do the rounds. It was unmistakeably Aphex Twin, not as mental as ‘Come To Daddy’ or as draw-dropping as ‘Windowlicker’ but a) reassuring to have him back and b) a sign that his muse hadn’t deserted him. It wasn’t particularly groundbreaking either – but looking at the work he has done over the last few decades, he’s in the fortunate position of being able to do whatever he likes and know that people will pick up on it.

What strikes me on listening to the album is that how James has always worked in so many fields of dance. He’s more than dipped his toe into ambient, but also experimented with acid house, techno and drum’n’bass. What makes Syro such an exciting listen is the way that he takes on board what appears to be almost forty years of dance, often working in a pretty leftfield milieu – yet at the same time , for the most part, a balanced mix of sunsettling and listenable. Hell, I’m sure there’s even a hint of disco at times.

And yet, album closer evokes Drukqs‘ ‘Avril 14’ with its Satie meets Eno soundscape. It’s a sign that one of the few things we can expect from him is the unexpected. While this album may not be as much of a OhmyGodwhatthebloodyfuckwasthat as Drukqs was, it’s still a welcome return and for those who have not encountered his work before (tut tut), perhaps a good place to start.


Syro is out now on Warp.

First new music from Aphex Twin in years!

It’s been a very long time coming.

But after 13 years, Richard D. James AKA Aphex Twin has shared some new music with us, entitled ”mini pops 67 (source field mix)’ which you can stream above.

It’s the first track to do the rounds from his forthcoming new album, which is entitled Syro and comes out via Warp on September 22.

I like this new track – yes it sounds like him, and whilst it’s not a mindblower like ‘Windowlicker’ or ‘Come To Daddy,’ anyone who is familiar with his work knows that one track is unlikely ever to be typical of an album.

The album tracklisting, according to Amazon, is as follows:

1. Minipops 67 (120.2) Source Field Mix) (Aka the Manchester Track)
2. XMAS_EVET10 (120) (Thanaton3 Mix)
3. Produk 29 (101)
4. 4 Bit 9d Api+e+6 (126.26)
5. 180db_ (130)
6. CIRCLONT6A (141.98) (Syrobonkus Mix)
7. Fz Pseudotimestretch+e+3 (138.85)
8. CIRCLONT14 (152.97) (Shrymoming Mix)
9. Syro U473t8+e (141.98) (Piezoluminescence Mix)
10. PAPAT4 (155) (Pineal Mix)
11. S950tx16wasr10 (163.97) (Earth Portal Mix)
12. Aisatsana (102)

(I say according to Amazon, because there’s no way most humans are capable of making sense of all of that!)

Does there have to be a reason?


I’d been a fan of Mr. Richard D. James for several years when I first heard ‘Windowlicker’ – but my first thought was one of utter disbelief. Not the single’s cover, but the sound was …something else.

And then after a few listens, I suddenly got it. And then I saw the video by Chris Cunningham.


Both are still utterly amazing, nearly fifteen years on. And if it seems unlikely that a song as weird as this got into the charts, perhaps the British public deserve credit for sending it all the way to no.16, back in 1999. And I’m staggered to realise it’s now fifteen years old.

Hopefully you’ve seen enough Hip-Hop videos to understand what this is parodying, and if you are offended by bad langauge (amazingly, some people still are in this day and age) perhaps you’d better not watch this.

The rest of you – press play.

Ten for a summer’s day

Hallelujah. It’s a summer’s day, it’s nice and warm and i’m not back in the classroom for several weeks. Yeees!

So, why not a playlist for a summer’s day? An eclectic mix of indie, dance, jazz and whatever takes my fancy.

Jamie Lidell -‘Another Day.’ mp3

Nina Simone -‘Feeling Good.’ mp3

Sigur Ros – Staralfur.’ mp3

Rockers’ Revenge -‘Walking On Sunshine 12″.’ mp3

Primitives -‘Through The Flowers.’ mp3

Aphex Twin -‘Girl/Boy Song.’ mp3

Donna Summer -‘I feel Love 12″ version.’ mp3

Moloko -‘Sing It Back (Boris musical mix).’ mp3

Chic -‘I Want Your Love 12″ version.’ mp3

The Streets -‘Your Song (Elton John cover).’ mp3

Melys -‘Chinese Whispers.’ mp3

More Peel, anyone?

John Peel engaging in one of his and my favourite activities

OK, some more from Peelie’s Festive Fifty…

Mo-Dettes -‘White Mice.’ mp3
(1980 Festive Fifty no.56)

Shop Assistants -‘Safety net. ‘ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty, no.8) (For AJ!)

Inspiral Carpets featuring Mark E. Smith -‘I Want You.’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.1)

Prince -‘Sign O’ The Times.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.32)

Sluts Of Trust -‘Leave You Wanting More.’ mp3 (2004 Festive Fifty no.5)

The Fall -‘Don’t Call Me Darling.’ mp3 (1995 Festive Fifty no.24)

M/A/R/R/S/ -‘Pump Up The Volume.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.46)

10,000 Maniacs -‘Can’t Ignore The Train. ‘ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.59)

Ride -‘Dreams Burn Down.’ mp3 (1990 Festive Fifty no.3)

Aphex Twin -‘Girl/Boy.’ mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.29)

More vinyl goodness will be appearing here later today…watch this space…

Another Festive Fifty themed post thingy

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days, things have been rather busy. Anyway…how about some more Peel-related posts, eh?

The Delgados -‘American Trilogy.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.10)

Aphex Twin – Windowlicker.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.42) (How the hell did this only get to no.42 and the Cuban Boys were no.1?! Go figure…)

Clinic -‘The Second Line.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.28)

Hole -‘Beautiful Son.’ mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.47)

The Fall -‘Dr. Buck’s Letter.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.3)

Melys -‘Chinese Whispers.’ mp3 (2001 Festive Fifty no.1)

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead -‘Mistakes And Regrets.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.4)

Age Of Chance -‘Kiss.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.2)

Calexico -‘Ballad Of Cable Hogue.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.22)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood -‘Two Tribes.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.25)

It’s funny, I felt in 2000 that I felt increasingly rmeoved from the music scene, as I failed to really love 2-step garage or nu-metal. Maybe there was much better stuff than I appreciated…



Six seminal sounds

It’s been a good weekend, and I’ve got lots of stuff done.

However, I figured it was time for something a bit different on this blog.

Adapted from a couple of CD-Rs that I made up a couple of years ago, Seminal Sounds CD-R 1 and er, Seminal Sounds CD-R 2, here are six tracks that I figure did a hell of a lot to change the face of music.

A Guy Called Gerald -‘Voodoo Ray.’ mp3

The Human League -‘Being Boiled.’ mp3

BBC Radiophonic Workshop -‘Doctor Who(Original Theme).’ mp3

Missy Elliott-‘Get Ur Freak On.’ mp3

Aphex Twin-‘Windowlicker.’ mp3

Billie Holiday-‘Strange Fruit.’ mp3

I shouldn’t need to post long justifications about these. Let’s just say, the first three tracks are milestones for electronic music, the Human League being one of the coldest things I have ever heard, whilst -in a completely different way, the Doctor Who theme is one of the warmest. Missy Elliott and Aphex Twin uped the ante, and deservedly got NME writers singles of the year for their tracks, whilst the Billie Holiday is haunting beyond belief, in a way that leaves Suicide, Nico and The Doors way, way behind.

If you like what you hear -and I believe you should -go check them out, via Amazon or iTunes, or better still, an independent shop.

These mp3s will be up for a week. Enjoy.