TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
Aphex Twin

Aphex Twin is the production alias of experimental electronic music producer and DJ Richard James.  Aphex Twin is one of the most experimental and creative figures in British electronic music and his diverse musical styles incorporate – among many others - Techno, Ambient and Breakbeat.

Aphex Twin scales of success
Aphex Twin timeline


 ‘Come To Daddy’
(Warp Records 1997). 
‘...I Care Because You Do’
(Warp Records 1995)

Early Years: 1991 to 2000

Richard James started DJ-ing and producing aged just 12 and in his teenage years was DJ-ing regularly at various local pubs.  It was at a gig at one of these pubs that James met Grant Wilson-Claridge who would become a long term friend and business partner.  BY 1991 the pair had set up Rephlex Records which became a home of creative and experimental Electronica, and many of James’ releases.

James first release was in 1991 with the ‘Analogue Bubblebath’ E.P. (Mighty Force 1991) using his AFX production alias. Most artists take some time to find their sound, so their early releases can sound derived and dissimilar from their later work.  James needed no such learning phase, his first release was the fierce stamp of a unqiue creative mind.  ‘Analogue Bubblebath’ smashed into existence as a tour-de-force, fusing elements of Breakbeat, Techno, Industrial, Ambient and even Trance all into one genre-bending whole. 

James’ first full album release was, demonstrating his diversity of musical output, an Ambient Techno compilation ‘Selected Ambient Works 85-92’ (Apollo 1992).

By 1995 when James signed to legendary dance music label Warp, his reputation and profile were firmly on the rise.  His breakthrough track on Warp was ‘Donkey Rhubarb’  (Warp Records 1995) which combined Glitch beats with a twisted nursery rhyme-like tin drum riff.  ‘Donkey Rhubarb’  also featured an unusual leftfield video, something which would become a trademark of Aphex Twin releases.  Later the same year James released the musically diverse album ‘...I Care Because You Do’ (Warp Records 1995) which a manipulated picture of his face on the cover, something which would become a regular feature of his album releases.

James took the disturbing video concept one step further with the video for his fierce Electro-Breakbeat track ‘Come To Daddy’ (Warp Records 1997).  In it school children get possessed with Richard James faces and go on the rampage and attack an old lady.

Part of the power of James’s production skills is to create increasingly leftfield and experimental music yet still achieve commercial success.  His 1999 track 'Window Licker’ (Warp Records 1999), a mix of unusual vocals, Electro synths, syncopated breaks and ambient textures was nonetheless one of his most successful singles to date, helped in no small way by another disturbingly quirky video.

(Warp Records 2001)
‘Hangable Auto Bulb’
(Warp Records 2005)

Later Years: 2001 to present

In 2001 James released his last studio album for Warp: ‘Drukqs’ (Warp Records 2001). ‘Drukqs’ pushed the boundaries of experimentation even for James, featuring a high paced computer controlled piano and Cornish language track names.  It has been argued that ‘Drukqs’ was intended to compel Warp to release James from his contract.  Whether this was indeed the case or not, his next album was on his Rephlex label.

In 2004 James returned to his Techno roots and started a series of E.P.s called 'Analord', with a strong emphasis on analogue synthesisers.  The latest instalment of Analord tracks were released by Warp in 2009. 

In 2007 James released the ‘Confederation Trough’ E.P. (Rephlex 2007) under the new alias Truss, even though Rephlex denied this was actually a James release.

James claims to have completed 6 further albums.

Aphex Twin was a crucial part of the evolution of electronic music in the 1990’s and 2000’s.  Richard James’ incessant appetite for experimentation, genre-bending and boundary-pushing has dragged the rest of electronic music along with him. The true testament to his abilities is that he has managed to command such strong commercial success without ever compromising his edgy and almost anti-commercial style.

James went to school in Cornwall at Redruth School.