Heyo, let’s distract ourselves from the crippling anxiety of the future and what it holds with some reminiscing of some goldie oldies, eh?
Today, we’re looking at Glitchy Rich himself, with one of his more mainstream singles (fake fan) in 1999’s Windowlicker. Check the video below:
I first found myself in the terrifying grasp of Aphex Twin when dawdling through some “classic music videos” playlists and stumbling across the um.. interesting visual for the heavily-thematic drill piece Come To Daddy, a song which I still bump in the morning to get me hypppedddddd. However, sporting another Chris Cunningham nightmare as the video, the wonderfully-titled Windowlicker caught my eye also. While initially I found it to be a fun watch, listening to the song sans-video made me realise what a mind-bending piece of electronic music it is.
Perhaps his most mainstream release to date, the actual melodic components of this track aren’t necessarily that complex, with a very shiny groove pervading much of the song and establishing a futuristic aesthetic and chilled atmosphere. However, the intricacies, as with much of Aphex Twin’s music, are key. You’ve got your general fare; the disregarding of time signatures like the dogshit on your shoe, the heavily distorted bass synths, the infectious use of beat sampling. And then you’ve got the voice modulation that makes Windowlicker stand out from a lot of the artist’s mainstream aesthetic, as the melody is composed almost entirely from warped vocal samples, in the form of various sighs and hums — giving it the offbeat edge you’d expect from an Aphex Twin track. As song moves into its second movement, it get more mind-bending by the second, with scratching, impeding bass, glitch-ridden breaks and surreal French sampling. It may not be the most challenging of Richard D James’ discography, but I can’t help but be astonished with the sheen of accessability that glosses over this immensely detailed and meticulous piece of electronica.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations