Aphex Twin

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About Aphex Twin

Aphex Twin is one of many pseudonyms used by Richard D. James, the wildly eclectic and innovative British composer, DJ, and producer who revolutionized electronic music in the ’90s with his complex—at times abrasive—instrumental creations. • James grew up in the countryside of Cornwall, where he first grew fascinated with the mechanics of sound creation. He’d deconstruct and modify synthesizers and mess with the strings inside of pianos. • He cultivated a passion for raves through the ’80s, organizing local Cornish events along the coast or in clandestine club locales where the price of entry was often cannabis. • The artist’s 1992 debut album, Selected Ambient Works 85–92 is regarded as a landmark achievement in electronic music meant for contemplative listening. • Inspired by lucid dreaming, his 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II peaked just outside the Top 10 on the UK charts. • His widely popular 1999 single “Windowlicker”—accompanied by a characteristically absurd, fever-dream–style music video—cracked the Top 20 of the UK charts. • James released the 2001 album drukQs after he left an mp3 player filled with unreleased tracks on an airplane. He figured the songs would soon be leaked, so he released them. • Over the next decade, he released material under the aliases AFX and Tuss. • In 2014, James released Syro, his first album under the Aphex Twin name in 14 years. It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart and No. 8 on the UK pop albums tally. The LP also won a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronica Album. • Sticking with the Aphex Twin moniker, James returned to summit of Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart with his subsequent EPs Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 (2015) and Cheetah (2016). • Aphex Twin music is often described as intelligent dance music, or IDM—a term that James has rejected.

August 18, 1971
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