Aphex Twin is perhaps the best known of the many monikers used by Richard D. James, one of the more creative minds in '90s electronica. James, who has recorded as AFX, Polygon Window, Caustic Window, and several others, is equally capable of both Eno-esque ambient pieces and headache-inducing techno. He will juxtapose melodies played by computer-generated string instruments with frantic, machinized beat patterns that make sense only to him. More an avant-garde composer than a creator of dance-floor hits, he has spent most of his extremely prolific career ignoring commercial trends.
James began his unique approach to music making early on. As a child, he conducted sound experiments on the strings and hammers of his family piano; by age 14, he had recorded his first compositions. During the late '80s, he DJ'd at raves in Cornwall before moving to London, where he attended college for one year before dropping out to focus on his music. His first release came in 1991 with the Analogue Bubblebath EP, recorded with Tom Middleton (known as Schizophrenia). His second EP, Analog Bubblebath, vol. 2 - a solo James effort under the name AFX - followed the same year; it contained the single "Digeridoo" (#55, U.K.), which foreshadowed the advent of drum-and-bass. After putting out a series of singles as Caustic Window on his own RePhLeX imprint, James released his first full-length album as Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works 85-92, in 1992. Hailing the album as an ambient masterpiece comparable to work by the Orb and Brian Eno, critics similarly applauded Selected Ambient Works, vol. 2, which followed two years later and went to #11 in the U.K.
His next Aphex Twin full-length,...I Care Because You Do, saw James seeking a middle ground between his ambient and hardcore techno compositions. The result placed him more in line with minimalist composers like Philip Glass, who attempted to re-create one of the album's songs with a live orchestra on his Donkey Rhubarb EP. The Richard D. James Album continued its namesake's marriage of drifting melodies and frenzied beats, as did the Come to Daddy EP (#36, U.K.) and 1999's "Windowlicker" (#16, U.K.) single. James spent 2000 writing the score to the independent short film Flex.
--biography courtesy of www.rollingstone.com
1) Why " DRUKQS"?
It's up to everyone to make their own interpretation.
2) So rumours of your retirement were greatly exaggerated? What made you change your mind?
The old mind was getting really slow and dull so I thought I'd get a new one.
3) What have you been doing since Windowlicker was released?
Playing around with human embryos that myself and my girlfriend made, before it's illegal.
4) Where/when was the album recorded?
All over the place travelling, in some bank vaults and in the bath.
5) Is all the material new?
It's the newest music available. actually its a compilation of all the fake aphex tracks found on the world.wide.wank, I didnt write any of them.
6) Will there be any singles?
Yes tomorrow, limited to 1 copy on my hard disk, my friend bought it on ebay which I think is on the internet.
7) The tracks have very bizarre titles, what do they mean?
8) Have you worked with anyone else on this album?
Yeah, at the beginning of 1997 I adopted 3 goats on my farm in scotland and taught them how to write music, I upgraded one of the goats at the end of 98' with a hoof mod and its fucking serious man/woman.
9) Are there going to be any more collaborations with yourself and Chris Cunningham?
Well I think Chris is too skinny at the moment and I cant bear working with skeletons so he has to put on a considerable amount of weight on first.
10) Where did you get the idea for the cover?
While i was djing at the next rephlex party at 93ft east club end of august 2001.
11) Have you been listening to lots of classical music? Is this a sign that you're mellowing in your old age?
I have actually gone deaf from djing and so I can't listen to any music at all. I'm totally gutted,have learnt how to lip read and I can still mix records by smelling the grooves.
12) What is your dru(g)kq of choice?
What does dru(g)kq mean, I dont understand the question, sorry.
13) Are you planning any live shows? What surprises have you got instore?
Well Im playing on the national lottery in December as they offered me the rollover if nobody won it that week,seriously!
14) Napster, do you have an opinion on them.
Well I should do ,I actually wrote the code for the precursor to napster and that bloke knicked it off me, I'm not bitter though,ive managed to download my entire catalogue off it when it worked,saved myself Â£'s
15) Is it true that you've written music for adverts under loads of
different pseudonyms, can u give ?
yes and other releases, stockhausen, mozart, xenakis, squarepusher, painjerk, parmigiani to name a few.
16) "We'd only ban someone for being boring"...What is the most boring
record ever made, in your opinion?
drukqs by eric satie.
17) What is the relationship between Warp and Rephlex?
you dont wanna know man its fucking bad.
18) It is widely known that Radiohead's Kid A was widely influenced by your
music, in particular 'Come As you Are'...What do you think of their new
stuff and other contemporaries?
Well they widely agreed to pay me 70% of the widely royalties so ,Im not complaining.
19) In a recent interview, Grant (Rephlex) pointed out that there are 5 missing records in the Rephlex catalogue...mostly yours...will you ever release them?
Yes, next week, whos Grant?
20) Do you remember life before the internet?
I havent actually gone online yet,is it any good? who are you anyway?
21) What is your favourite gadget?
Oh it would have to be this endoscope I got from LOOT a couple of years ago,it had ,had a fair bit of use mind you but its a one off model which can go inside your brain via your nostrils and tickle different regions of your body automatically,its got a USB connection and came bundled with some MAC software,its got a neuro reciever on one bit which can directly pick up various thoughts and signals that happen to be flying around whatever region you happen to be poking,it's so cool man.
22) What criterion do you have for releasing someone's records?
Well its usually based on sexual favours'n'stuff best not to go there.
23) You were once quoted as saying you weren't recording any new material cos you were 'sick of being ripped off'...who have you ripped off?
I've never got sick of being sucked off, don't know what your on about, whats your name, your'e weird?