Listened Re-appraising Drukqs by Aphex Twin by an author from Duncan Stephen

When it came out in 2001, Drukqs divided critics. But for me, it’s still the most important Aphex Twin album.

Drukqs was not the first Aphex Twin record I listened too. I had already spent years both mesmerised and horrified by the videos for Come to Daddy:

And Windowlicker:

I had also dived into both Selected Ambient Works Volume II and Richard D. James Album. Drukqs was the first album I had gotten into when it was actually released. For me, it was both everything I expected, but also a complete shock to the system all in one breath.

In an interview with Annie Clark aka St. Vincent, she discusses the intent for her live shows:

My goal with any show is that it will be an experience. You might love it or you might hate it or you might be completely confounded, but you won’t forget it.

I think that same could be said about Aphex Twin. Whether it be an album or seeing him live, they are usually experiences that you do not forget. (I will never forget seeing him live in 2004.) I think that Drukqs is one of these experiences. Although it could have been broken up into three distinct albums, it would no longer be the same uncanny experience that in some respect makes it work.

Listened The Cult of Aphex Twin – BBC Radio 4 from BBC

Music writer John Doran ventures into the strange world of Richard D James. Over the course of three decades James, known to his legion of hardcore fans as Aphex Twin, has achieved the primary but evasive aim of most serious musicians – the invention, exploration and curation of a truly unique and inimitable sound.

John Doran reflects on the stories associated with Aphex Twin. The myth that maketh the man. This is in contrast to something like Deep Cuts’ guide to the music:

I remember growing up with many of the myths, such as Richard D James drove around in a tank. I also once met a DJ who told me he was a part of a tour in the 90’s where Richard D James spent a whole gig just playing ping pong on the computer.

What is most intriguing about Richard D James is his ability to push back on expectation. I remember when I saw him perform in 2004.

It was like nothing I had ever experienced before and since. Where some dance/electronic acts have a certain rhythm and structure of highs and lows, the whole set was just intense music with no transitions. A musical journalist I went with actually left the gig early.

There is something about both Richard D James and his music that drags the listener in only to spit them out once again. There is a constant teasing of order never quite achieved.