Enlarge / Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin, is careful about his likeness being photographed, but Warp Records swears that this is him. (credit: Warp Records)
Many of the modern era’s greatest electronic musicians also happen to be legitimate computer and technology geeks. Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin, is no exception.
The 46-year-old British musician has spent decades making music with an incredible range of analog and digital synthesizers (more details here), and one of his most impressive albums, Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments, was made by programming robots to play live instruments to his exact specifications.
I can go on about James’ nerd cred (including his decision to initially announce his 2014 “comeback” record Syro via deep-web links), but his lengthy, diverse, and weird collection of music does the talking—and now you have an easier way to access it than ever.
A month-long countdown at the official Aphex Twin site concluded on Thursday, and with it came a near-complete vault of James’ recording output since 1991.
It includes a full store where fans can buy uncompressed FLAC and compressed MP3 versions of his albums, EPs, and even myriad side projects recorded under weird aliases (AFX, Polygon Window, The Tuss, etc).
“CIRKLON3,” a 2016 Aphex Twin single.
It’s a good starting point for anybody new to his sound, as it strikes a decent balance between his early ’90s ambient output, his later “dancier” output, and his knack for weirdness.
Should you be short on cash, James still lets you use the site’s embedded streaming audio player for unlimited listening to his entire catalog.
This is notable for a few reasons, but the biggest is that James’ new shop includes hours of previously unreleased material from pretty much every phase of his career. His breakout 1995 album …I Care Because You Do has been bolstered with a whopping seven new, lengthy tracks (and they’re quite good), while most of his albums, EPs, and singles now include additional demo recordings and isolated-element remixes. (The original template for his single “Windowlicker” is a fascinating newbie, for example, though certainly not as weird as its eventual version—which received a bizarre music video (probably NSFW) with James’ face slapped onto bikini-clad, water-soaked models.)
Read 1 remaining paragraphs