Aphex Twin shares first new Music Video in 17 years

by John-Paul Pryor

It's good to have the nightmares back.
Aphex Twin created a surreal electronic landscape that soundtracked a generation of outsiders in the 90s – Richard D James delivering music that was by turns abrasive and melodic, and always resolutely avant-garde. It felt like strange news from another star and came to be visually recognisable by the motif of a grinning, surreal and oftentimes all-out demonic portrait of the artist. Pioneering albums such as Selected Ambient Works Vol 2 and Drukgs were touted as works of genius and became a mainstay to the artistically, and chemically, inclined, and soon the unsettling grin began to appear more and more, most notably on the faces of children on the Come To Daddy EP, and masking curvaceous bikini-clad party girls in the (at that time groundbreaking) bumper-to-bumper CGI-fest 'Windowlicker'.

To say there has always been something genuinely revolutionary about Aphex Twin would be an understatement - the music and its presentation has always contained some intangible abstract otherness; punctuating the cultural spectrum in the same way, say, Banksy reshaped the language of graffiti or The Chapman Brothers offended everyone in the art establishment. Given that it is now officially the 90s once more, with Radiohead and The Stone Roses taking to the airwaves, it's fitting Aphex Twin has returned with a single that has an impenetrable, alien spacecraft-esque title - CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ] -  and a video directed by a 12-year-old YouTuber named Ryan Wyer, which witnesses the wide-grinned visage introduce itself to a whole new generation. It's arguably the stuff of nightmares, but in an era of auto-tune soma for the masses, it's  good to have the nightmares back.