Aphex Twin

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About Aphex Twin

When Richard David James—best known as Aphex Twin—began releasing his bracing, boundary-pushing electronic music in 1991, everything was up for grabs. Rave culture was smashing social norms and reshaping pop music. Born in Ireland in 1971 and raised in Cornwall, in South West England, where he learned to take apart electronic gizmos, the mischievous producer embodied the era’s anarchic spirit. He doled out scabrous acid tracks, pioneered lightning-fast breakbeats, and made some of the eeriest ambient music ever put to tape. While the electronic scene eventually settled down, James never stopped pushing boundaries. He’s spread autobiographical tall tales, dabbled in multiple aliases, toyed with robots, and hybridized DJ sets and live performances into full-on noise assaults. After a hiatus between 2001 and 2014, he embarked upon a remarkably prolific stretch, switching up his style with every release. For all the imitators he’s spawned, his records could never be mistaken for anyone else’s. He’s an original—a genre of one.

August 18, 1971
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