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Electronic musician Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin, took to the deep web recently to announce his new album SYRO and this time he’s chosen a more traditional and publicly accessible format to share even more details about the forthcoming record.
In an interview with The FADER, James revealed that SYRO has been in the works for almost half a decade and that the album’s oldest song dates back six or seven years. Reports Consequence of Sound, YouTube videos have emerged of James allegedly previewing early versions of two album tracks, 4 bit 9d api+e+6 and XMAS_EveT10 (thanaton3 mix), in concert although they have not been verified as actual SYRO tracks.
He also revealed that SYRO wouldn’t be a one-off record, noting that the project has him “kicked into gear”. SYRO will be his first full-length release under the Aphex Twin name since 2001's Drukqs. Earlier this year, however, a long lost 1994 album recorded by James under his other moniker, Caustic Window, was unearthed and distributed thanks to a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.
James also described himself as a “serial killer for sounds” and said he consistently buys music and samples from various genres, including Scouse house. “I collect sounds from other records so I have to know where they come from and how they’re made,” he said. “I bought every old sampler in existence and bought all the sample libraries. Like a serial killer, basically. I’ve gone through all of the sounds and worked out where everyone got all their sounds from.”
In another interview with Pitchfork, the musician said that SYRO is the “most accessible” of all the albums he’s been working on and that it features “unintelligible” vocal contributions from himself, his kids, his wife, and his parents. He also alleged to the publication that Kanye West once tried to rip him off when he sampled the Aphex Twin track Avril 14th on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy‘s Blame Game.
“Is it a sample? I actually don’t know what it ended up being in the end, I’m so slack. I know that he tried to f**king rip me off and claim that he’d written it, and they tried to get away with not paying,” he said. “I was like, ‘I’ll just replay it for you at that speed if you want.’ And they totally didn’t even say ‘hello’ or ‘thanks,’ they just replied with, ‘It’s not yours, it’s ours, and we’re not even asking you any more’.”
According to Consequence of Sound, James’ name does appear in the credits for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and so presumably his original work was eventually acknowledged.
Aphex Twin’s sixth studio album, SYRO, is out this September.
Listen: Aphex Twin – Avril 14th
Watch: Preview of 4 bit 9d api+e+6 in concert