It’s not often one gets their hands on a piece of music history, but that is what music buff Alex Ball recently did when he purchased Apex Twin’s Theis Modular Synthesizer and decided to switch it on and give a little review.
For those that may not know, Aphex Twin, aka Richard D. James, is a name synonymous with the intriguingly named genre of IDM (Intelligent Dance Music). James on the label: “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. It makes me laugh.”
Aphex Twin’s formed Rephlex Records in 1991, releasing three Analogue Bubblebath EPs under the AFX name. He moved to London in 1993, where he released a slew of albums and EPs on Warp Records and other labels under many aliases. His first album ‘Selected Ambient Works 85-92’ was an ambient affair, released in 1992 on R&S records.
In 1995 James began composing on computers, embracing a more drum n bass sound mixed with acid lines. In the late 1990s, his music become more popular with the release of “Come to Daddy” and “Windowlicker”, which James followed this up in 2001 with “Drukqs”, a 2-CD album which featured both prepared piano songs and abrasive and fast drum n bass influenced fare.
In late 2004, James returned to acid techno with the Analord series, which was written and recorded on analogue equipment and pressed to vinyl.
Some seemingly outlandish claims from interviews have been verified. James does own a tank (actually a 1950s armoured scout car, the Daimler Ferret Mark 3) and a submarine bought from Russia.
Additional unverified claims include the following: He composed ambient techno at age 13; he has “over 100 hours” of unreleased music; he experiences synaesthesia; and he is able to incorporate lucid dreaming into the process of making music.
Of course, how could we not add in this seminal classic – Come to Daddy (Directors Cut)