5 Nagging Questions About Aphex Twin’s ‘Cheetah’ EP

aphex twin cheetah EP

A mysterious but apparently official announcement of Aphex Twin‘s new EP, Cheetah, has been made. But the quirky fact sheet about its imminent arrival on July 8 actually raises more questions than it answers. Here are the most immediate queries it engenders.

1. Are these tracks “those” tracks?

Warp Records’ track listing for the EP includes song titles like “CHEETAHT2” and “CHEETAHT7b,” prompting curious minds to wonder whether these are the same as (or related to) similarly titled tracks Aphex Twin anonymously uploaded to SoundCloud.

2. Does it actually come bundled with a synth?

The announcement lists all sorts of synthesizer-sounding features, like 15-note polyphony and velocity sensitivity. Are we to assume Cheetah comes bundled with some sort of downloadable digital synth technology?

3. Is there really a remix contest?

Fans are invited to “Have fun programming,” and send any “superb patches and tones” they might create to Warp in hopes of receiving an unspecified prize. Is this just a cute way of announcing a remix contest?

4. Cassette? Really?

Warp promises that Cheetah will be released not only in digital, vinyl, and CD formats, but even as a limited edition cassette.

5. How seriously should we take any of this?

Well it looks like there definitely is an Aphex Twin EP called Cheetah arriving from Warp on July 8. As far as all the other stuff, who knows how far Richard D. James is willing to take his twisted sense of humor? In the meantime we’d regard any of the additional info with several grains of salt and just look forward to the music.

Track listing
01. CHEETAHT2 [Ld spectrum]
02. CHEETAHT7b
03. CHEETA1b ms800
04. CHEETA2 ms800
05. CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ]
06. CIRKLON 1
07. 2X202-ST5*

*CD, Cassette and Digital track only, included on download available with vinyl

SoundCloud Surprise: Aphex Twin Shares Unreleased Tracks

aphex-twin

You never can tell what the whimsical Richard D. James will get up to next. For most artists, putting out previously unreleased tracks, especially alternate versions of cuts from their classic albums, is a big to-do, accompanied by plenty of fanfare. Such tracks will often get rolled out as bonus-track enticements for hardcore fans to plunk their money down on either an expanded reissue or a hefty box set. But not your old pal Aphex Twin.

Not only have unreleased AT tracks been popping up for free lately without any warning, James hasn’t even been putting his name on them. Now, since tracks like the alternate version below of “Avril 14th,” a tune from Aphex Twin’s Drukqs album, have been uploaded to SoundCloud anonymously, under a series of unidentifiable usernames (hello, user18081971) and James hasn’t taken credit for them so far, it can’t technically be proven that they’re legit. But the experts agree that they are, so unless we hear otherwise, hell, why look a gift horse in the mouth?

Respect: Electronic Albums Turning 20 in 2015

Dance LPs Turning 20 in 2015

Ah, 1995. Bill Clinton was President of the United States, Windows 95 was released by Microsoft and music was issued on CD, vinyl and cassette. In terms of the arc of electronic music, it was a pivotal year which saw a legion of now legendary artists draw from the lessons they learned from disco in the ’70s and techno and house in the ’80s and evolve the genre in truly innovative ways. Though the music industry attempted to market the sound to the masses as “electronica,” these albums managed to transcend past slick marketing.

With ’90s revivalism currently being embraced by a new generation of music-makers and the fact that today is the middle of the year, we thought the time was right to pay our respects to some of the style’s most influential releases released two decades ago.

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New AFX EP Coming From Richard D. James

AphexTwin

British electronic pioneer Richard D. James has released his visionary sounds under a lot of different aliases over the years. Of course, he’s most famous for the records he’s made under the Aphex Twin moniker, but over the course of his long career he has also made music under the names Polygon Window, Caustic Window, Bradley Strider, The Tuss and AFX, among others. But AFX has been the one that’s seen the most action other than Aphex Twin. Still, it’s been about a decade since we’ve seen any action under the AFX banner. Until now that is. RDJ watchers will want to mark their calendars for August 21, because that’s the date set for the arrival of Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008.

James’s longtime label, Warp Records, will release the eight-song EP on vinyl and CD, both formats coming in die-cut and spot-glossed sleeves, as well a digital version. There hasn’t been a hell of a lot of other information revealed so far, beyond the track list (which you can see below), and a single-track preview (ditto). But when it comes right down to it, really, it’s an AFX record. How much more do you really need to know about it? Oh yeah, where to get it. Here, have a pre-order link.

Tracklist:
01. serge fenix Rendered 2
02. dmx acid test
03. oberheim blacet1b
04. bonus EMT beats
05. simple slamming b 2
06. midi pipe1c sds3time cube/klonedrm
07. NEOTEKT72
08. r8m neotek beat

Aphex Twin, Tiesto Win Grammys

grammy

In a pre-award ceremony it was announced tonight that Aphex Twin won a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album for his latest album, Syro, on Warp Records. Crazy but cool, right? Dutch DJ/producer Tiësto picked up his first Grammy for his remix of John Legend’s “All Of Me.” Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” won for Best Dance Recording.

Find out the full list of winners here.

Tom Middleton On His Bedroom Studio Days With Aphex Twin

Tom Middleton loopmasters

DJ/producer/sound designer Tom Middleton cut his production teeth in the late ’80s in Cornwall, England, after striking up a friendship with Richard D. James while Aphex Twin was in its infancy. Middleton’s studio experiments with James influenced him greatly and set the stage for his groundbreaking ambient work with Mark Pritchard in Global Communication. (The duo’s 1994 album, 76:14, remains a benchmark of excellence in the field.)

Middleton has since gone on to fine tune his own impeccably diverse sound, one which  spans the spectrum from deep house to classical. With a spate of wondrous albums, singles, remixes and DJ mix compilations, the lessons he learned all those years ago in Cornwall continue to resonate.

As James presents his much-ancticipated Syro after a decade-plus absence from music, the constantly innovating Middleton has just unveiled his second sample pack for Loopmasters, Dub Bass House, and is finishing up a series of album projects.

We spoke with Middleton about how he came to work with James and the experience that made an indelible mark on his musical psyche.

Tom Middleton presents Dub Bass House is out now on Loopmasters.
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