Der Wahnsinn hat Melodie (English)With his new album "Drukqs" Aphex Twin created another great deformation
Aphex Twin is not a woman anymore. Now he's a pig. This week he showed NME his pink red squeezed face. Two years ago he grinned down from a female bodybuilder's body on the CD "Windowlicker". And in "Come To Daddy (1997)", the most frightening music video sine Michael Jackson's "Thriller", he haunts - mutated to a mob of various little girls - an old lady in agony. Richard D. James, his real name, seems to have a sick brain with an ugly body. But the truth is: This 30 year old guy looks like Jesus, with his long hair and nice-cut beard. The supposed tank-driver and former bank building resident from Cornwall uses his look just to turn people from it. 'Cause it's all about the music. And his music is not always disturbing but sometimes just wonderful.
Didn't want to be a remixer for the "vamp" Madonna
Aphex Twin is the most innovated and influencing figure in the electronic pop world. Although his only constant thing is his unpredictability. Ten years ago he didn't just give "Boom Boom"-Techno intelligence but got together harsh acid with with smooth ambient. With his awesome 1992 album "Selected Ambient Works 85-92" he co-founded a music genre that is known as Electronic Listening. With his next release "Selected Ambient Works II" Aphex Twin established himself as the master of mediative soft techno. As he released "Ventolin" one year later, which continued his brutal phase (music he recorded when he was 14 years old) his reputation as the "Mozart of Techno" was fucked. Whenever a TV channel is broadcasting scenes of surgery of rape you can be sure it's added with Aphex Twin music.
This didn't prevent Madonna to ask him to do some remixes but he considered her as "too much vamp" and so he declined. He rather hides himself behind countless aliases as AFX, Polygon Window, Caustic Window, Blue Calx, The Dice Man, GAK, Power-Pill, Q-Chastic and releases records on his very own label Rephlex on which he sells a lot without any marketing issues. The millionaire Aphex Twin continues a tradition like Stockhausen, John Cage, Brain Eno and Kraftwerk. The music clips he produced along with Chris Cunningham "Come To Daddy" and "Windowlicker" (a bad parody to bad-ass hip hop videos) also took big place on MTV. He's an Avantgarde composer and pop star in one.
But he's definitely not a gold-shitting donkey. WARP, his record label, could earn lots of money if he only was willing to give more than 3 interviews. His last live gig was 4 years ago, his last long play record 5 years. The release for his new album which is released on October 22th, is just based on a coincidence: He lost an MP3-player with 280 unreleased tracks in a plane last year. To prevent illegal spreading in the internet he decided to release a little part of the tracks that he fortunately copied before. 30 of them are now put on two discs with a total time of over 100 minutes. "Drukqs", the title of the new album, suggests that Aphex Twin didn't calm down by now.
In his own words "Drukqs" has got nothing to do with drugs although the album could give a narcotic efficiency. It is recommended to listen to records in a calm concentrated mood, it is not intended as background music, which is likely not takeable. Except the "Happy Birthday" from his parents who are singing on his answering machine there are no vocals. If there are voices they're disformed unrecognizably, figuring them out, well, this is a job for fansites like www.theaphextwin.com or www.joyrex.com.
Behind the unpronouceanle tracks ("Jynweythek" oder "Gwely Mernans", they just reminding of celtic names) current music genres are only to be found in a small amount. The exaggeration is Aphex Twin's handwriting. The fast gets faster, the hard gets harder and rhythmic more rhythmic, almost disrhymthmic or hyperrhythmic. Breakbeats get dissected and put together again, a miracle that they stay in the beat ("Vordhosbn", "Cock/Ver 10"). "Omgyjya-Switch" sounds like a musicbox that been relaunched and played in an active torture chamber. Electro and Garagetunes are faced with nightmarish distortion. Everyone who's thinking: Freejazz or noise? You're wrong, dude. Coincidence and chaos are not welcome here. The abstract deformations in Aphex Twin's always recieve a vibe, a sense. Melodies appear where you wouldn't expect them. Melancholic sounds are given a harmonic contrast to the horror. And lots of pianotunes, which are most likely based on Eric Satie and Debussy let you take a break.
He's putting anger, fear and tenderness together in an extreme and original way
That's why countless knob twiddlers without any sense for music bow down to Aphex Twin. His radical interpretation of Techno, House, Drum 'n' Bass und Ambient is not only original and extreme, but also intensive. Nightmares, fears, anger, power and tenderness are packed up in this. His fantasy is sometimes a little creepy, but you understand it.
"Drukqs" will be released on October 22th
Written by CHRISTIAN HUBSCHMID from sonntagszeitung.ch
Translated by Sine707