People who didnt like his performance just dont get it.
I loved the double thumbs up he did after the set, like he was asking the crowd if what he just did met their approval. I wish I got a picture of that.
For your health
Much of I write here probably would be denied and likely could not be cared less for by The Aphex Twin. This does not mean my claims are not true (though they may be), but rather that RDJ has a great deal of contempt for critical acclaim. In my defense, however, I'm not only a critic, but a less talented peer of Richard's, as well. (I'm an electronic musician in my own right.)
There's a great deal of displeasure that's been expressed on these boards about the hour-long performance of music by Aphex Twin during the evening time of the Californian desert on Friday, 25 April 2008. And nothing less should be expected because James' ideas about what constitutes "music" and his unique philosophies on sound (he would deny he has any) are extraordinarily alienating and, some would say, full of contempt. This is primarily because there is nothing the least bit conventional about what qualities AFX considers are those of a good song. The only exception to this is regular meter (a danceable rhythm), which is a very popular trait in electronic music, and one which is found in a great deal of the body of RDJ's work. (However, at this point in his "career", there are about just as many tracks of his that lack a symmetrical pulse as there are those that harbor it.)
I know it sounds like I'm about to dive into a thousand theories why I think Richard's music turns many people off, but I'm going to try to stay away from that and just focus on a few. And as you can probably already tell, this is anything but a biased interpretation, because I probably have no greater respect or admiration for anyone in electronic music than Richard James. (Possible exceptions to this might be Rick Smith of Underworld, cEVIN Key & Dwayne Goettel (R.I.P.) of Skinny Puppy, and Peter Christopherson of Throbbing Gristle & Coil.)
The most important reason James does a great job of repelling rather than attracting is because there is typically nothing moderate about his recordings and live shows. And since moderation is hailed as the stuff of not only attraction, but of leading a enjoyable and fulfilling life ("everything in moderation"), the trajectory of RDJ on the scale of intensity can be seen as the antithesis of this widely-held view.
He never sings, as his vocals are either childlike or demonic. His melodies are often subtle and delicate, while his percussive elements are nearly always bombastic and assaulting. His ambient pieces are profoundly so, almost to a surreal, secretly snarling degree. And his alternating provisions of intensity are consistently "profondo bellicoso", or deeply aggressive and warlike.
And though there is certainly variation in the extreme moods inherent in the music of Aphex Twin, those periods are usually underscored with an unsettling tension, provided by dissonant bass lines, sharp & staccato blasts of noise, and a quietness that is very unquiet, much like the proverbial calm preceding the storm.
This is not background music, and it doesn't work well at bars, parties or other social meetings where the focus is not on experiencing art. It demands that the listener pay attention, even at more subtle volumes.
So, it's not surprising that AT's performance was met with so much dismay and displeasure in a huge tent filled with people who typically just want something nice to dance to, accented here and there by softly climatic breaks, time-expansion effects and experiences in rudimentary filtering. Aphex Twin's music can alternate between subversively minimalist to horrifically complex, but it is never pedestrian or ordinary. (And I can't think of two better adjectives than those to apply to the sets by Freeland, Collins & Cook that night. Diplo, however, was truly fantastic.)
In the end, I am profoundly grateful to Goldenvoice for putting on a festival that does not simply cater to one musical perspective, but rather to so many that it seems nearly-infinite. Personally, I could have used a few more bands on the intelligently aggressive side of things, but I have never heard anything as intense as I heard when Richard James was closing his stellar set Friday night. I think there has never been a truer sonic holocaust ever performed, and I hope to all the gods that someone, somewhere got that set on tape/disc.
(Do any of you know if anyone did actually record it?)
Thank you, again, GV, for another wonderful festival and making it unforgettable by bringing The Aphex Twin finally to our shores.
P. S. A quick to those wanting to hear James' "hits". I'm sure he's grateful that his music is appreciated, but he really doesn't have any "hits". More importantly, however, the bloke ain't a jukebox. (I mean, can you imagine? "Ok, everybody, this one's called 'Come To Daddy'. Care to sing along?")
aphex was incredible. favorite set of all 3 days easy. thank you richard.
Pumpers like to pump, Pumpers Need to pump.
i thought aphex twin was pretty fuckin amazing, I only caught the last half of his set but that was ridiculously good
I was front and center for the first 20 minutes or so, but had no water left and was on the verge of collapsing after dancing my ass off to Diplo, so I left to get water. It's amazing to see him play, but it was really unnecessary to stay up front very long. Also, for the record Diplo>>>>>>>>Girl Talk.
aphex ruined pendumn for me. pendulmn was completly shyte compared to aphex. and i like pendulumn. well not anymore anyways.
Pumpers like to pump, Pumpers Need to pump.
aphez twin=HUGE let down!
IF GOD TAKES LIFE, THEN HES AN INDIAN GIVER!
I got there at the 25 minute mark and thought that RDJ was pranking us by sending someone else to come play cheezedance. In fact there were a bunch of dudes at the entrance thinking the same thing.
What was funny was how many people were into it, assuming I guess that thats what this guy called Aphex Twin does, like he was Oakenfold or someone.
But then, it got good. A total bait and switch to the crowd.
Beats started collapsing in on themselves and everything got way cooler.
Having said that, it still wasnt as out there and next level as I would have expected from him, and in the end I think I would have preferred him to send Squarepusher again.
This sig sponsored by MenocuŽ buttplugs.MenocuŽ butplugs are the only buttplugs Wykked Sceptre uses.
I mean, this thread isn't so bad, and I knew if I started another one, I would have seemed like a pompous ass and Psychic would have squashed it.
AFX is difficult to handle. It helps that James is a nice chap.
And I'll likely die trying to get even a shite full boot of his set. By now, of course, I think GV records all Coachella performances in a very nice sounding 5:1. The only question, of course, is whether they'll ever release James' hour.
(I'm sure they also have great video, however in this case that would be disposable since Dickie almost never pokes more than a few inches of his skull above the decks and gear. Actually, I'd opt for an hour of most of the audience scratching their heads and winjing their brains out.)
Speaking of the audio, though, I say they work out an agreement between themselves and the labels and put up online downloads of the shows, charge a decent fee, and make themselves and the artists a nice few pounds. How many people here wouldn't like to have an audio keepsake (or two, or three) of their fave festival of the year? (I mean, besides a comparably shortlived t-shirt.)
Boring. He's the most well paid solitaire player in the world. And he's mostly what brought me on Friday. Dude just sat there like he was shopping on ebay. And I think rigamortus has set in on the four guys in Kraftwerk.
First of all call it for what it is the better part of APhex Twin's set was really fast paced drum and bass, if you don't know about drum and bass then why are you commenting about it. his set was amazing, just because the only electronic music people like right now is ed banger crap doesnt mean you have the liberty of discrediting music that is not electro. by the way aphex twins dnb was much better than pendulum
You got to these festivals and you see these bands that are shit, just making noise. But you put this in and it's ten times louder with more bass. It makes loads more noise.
-Richard D. James
I downloaded Richard D's set and it's awesome from start to finish, he certainly didn't mess around or pigeon hole himself in any way.
10/29 Hot Chip @ The Fox Theatre
11/07 Rufus Du Sol @ The Mezzanine (?)
11/13 Mr Little Jeans @ The Rickshaw Stop
11/20 Keep Shelly in Athens @ Awaken
Aphex Twin was absolutly amazing !!! Justice was the worst
"There's a shadow just behind me,shrouding every breath I take,making every promise empty,pointing every finger at me."
This thread makes me want to punch babies. I doubt he would, but I certainly hope Mr. James isn't reading this. Ignorance level in here is staggering.
AFX set was equalled only by Kraftwerk for the ENTIRE weekend. Massive mindfuck set and I love ever goddamn second. I know I talked to some people there that "got it" but I guess I can't expect most to. Otherwise he would probably stop producing altogether
Thank you Mr. James!!
Edit: OH thank you mick, after this set, any further bootlegs I find are simply bonus. Thanks so much for grabbing this.
Last edited by audidude; 04-30-2008 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Thanks for linkage!
I posted the set to www.dogsonacid.com which is one of the biggest international Drum & Bass forums. I wouldn't be surprised if we had a near complete tracklist within the next 72 hours
He was amazing. I only saw part of the set- had to leave cuz my friend felt like she was gonna have a seizure (so you know it was GOOD!!)- but yeah he's an acquired taste for sure. Sahara tent was superb on Friday.
Thanks for the link to the set...listening to it now.