If you told me Richard D. James — better known as Aphex Twin — was an alien, I’d believe you. He makes beats from the inside of a bank vault, he owns a tank, and when Madonna begged him to remix a song, he said he'd only do it if she agreed to record a variety of sounds with her genitals (she did not do it). Music of late is often centered around bass drops. With Aphex Twin, the bass isn't "dropped," it's swung, torn, spun, fermented, and sent into space. We will look back at his work as some of the most important music of our time. He's often referred to as a pioneer, and I agree. But while most pioneers are followed by settlers, Aphex Twin camps alone.
Here's a bite from a recent interview with Richard: "My 5-year-old's made loads of totally insane music on his computer, and I'm just like, 'What the fuck is that? What have I done to him?' He’s using Renoise. I didn't tell him how to use it, he just downloaded a crack off Pirate Bay."
HIS FIVE YEAR OLD SON TAUGHT HIMSELF HOW TO ILLEGALLY DOWNLOAD MUSIC SOFTWARE AND MAKE BEATS
It is widely reported that his new album Syro is his first release in 13 years, but that's not true. Although he hasn't made music as Aphex Twin, he has fairly consistently released music under pseudonyms without telling the public. That's why you'll notice some of the artists are not listed as Aphex Twin in this playlist, but I assure you it's still Richard.
This is a playlist of 23 of his songs, and let me tell you, it was really hard to pick just 23. I love this music. It's everything. Complex, blunt, loud, quiet, beautiful, ugly, nerdy as fuck, undeniably cool, massive, minimalist, pure electronic, pure acoustic, pure bliss, and sometimes completely unlistenable.
This playlist also happens to contain my favorite moment in all of music, the final 20 seconds or so of "Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michaels Mount." Please listen to this on some decent headphones at a volume that almost hurts:
And please remember, this is headphone music. Listening to this on shitty headphones is like going to see Gravity in 2-D; what’s the point? If you aren't listening to this on headphones, you're not really hearing it.
Throw all your other music away; this is Aphex Twin.
GrooveShark first, which has more tracks available than the other services: