Early Life and Career
Richard D. James, also known by his stage name Aphex Twin, was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1971. He grew up in Cornwall, England and developed an interest in electronic music at a young age. James began creating his own music using a Commodore 64 computer and a Roland TB-303 synthesizer. He eventually started recording his tracks and selling them on cassette tapes at local record stores.
Tom Middleton, the other half of Aphex Twin, was born in London in 1968. He also had a passion for electronic music and began creating his own tracks using a variety of equipment, including a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and a Roland TR-808 drum machine. Middleton and James met in the early 1990s and decided to form Aphex Twin.
Aphex Twin's debut album "Selected Ambient Works 85-92" was released in 1992 and received critical acclaim for its unique sound and experimental nature. The album featured a mix of ambient and techno music, incorporating a variety of synthesizers and drum machines. It was named Album of the Year by NME and hailed as a groundbreaking release in the electronic music genre.
Following the success of their debut album, Aphex Twin released a series of EPs and singles, including "On" and "Analogue Bubblebath". These releases continued to showcase their experimental sound and earned them a dedicated fanbase.
In 1995, Aphex Twin released their second studio album "I Care Because You Do". The album was a departure from their earlier ambient sound and featured a more beat-driven style. It included the hit single "Windowlicker" which became a staple of their live shows.
Controversy and Hiatus
In 1997, Aphex Twin released the album "Come to Daddy" which garnered controversy for its disturbing music videos and violent imagery. The album's lead single, also titled "Come to Daddy", featured a video of a demonic figure stalking and terrorizing a young girl. The video was banned from television and sparked backlash from critics and fans alike.
Following the release of "Come to Daddy", Aphex Twin went on hiatus for several years. James and Middleton continued to create music under various aliases, including The Tuss and Caustic Window. In 2001, James released the album "Drukqs" under the Aphex Twin name, but it was met with mixed reviews and did not receive the same level of success as their earlier releases.
In 2014, Aphex Twin released their first album in thirteen years, "Syro". The album received positive reviews and earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album. They also embarked on a world tour to support the album, playing shows in Europe, North America, and Australia.