Day For Night Preview: Aphex Twin

aphex-twin-logoEvery music festival will have its share of legacy acts that are there for the nostalgia factor. It seems strange to say that any of the artists at Day for Night are a “legacy” act. When you are years ahead of the industry, how do you ever have the throwback tag? Indulge me as I wax poetic about the future past. Let’s start with the 800 lb. headliner, Aphex Twin.

In my eyes and ears, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 is a mandatory record to have in your collection. Fact: Die Antwoord’s Ninja has the Aphex Twin logo tattooed on his arm and they have recently sampled songs from the Selected Ambient Works 85-92, good enough for me. Elegant and grating, challenging and soothing, all at once a collection that utilizes textures and samples to accent the underlying melodies. One recently poignant sample is Gene Wilder’s line from Wonka, “We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dream.” Later records saw an evolution to harder edges with foundations of drum and bass beats. “Come to Daddy” and “Windowlicker” both cemented the permission slip from me for any future evolution Richard David James wants to undergo.

But with all of that aside, some of my favorite works by Mr. James is under his Polygon Window moniker. There was a compilation in 1992 curated by Warp Records that started the disc with a track called “Polygon Window” by The Dice Man. I loved it, read the liner notes and made the connection to Aphex Twin, cuz, yeah. A year later, I found an import of Surfing as Sine Waves BY Polygon Window during a browsing binge of a tiny record that I doubt exists anymore, can’t recall the name, used stuff only, on Parmer, not Buybacks, somebody help me remember. Anyway, this was recorded shortly after Ambient Works landed and it features another fave track “Quoth”.

The aforementioned compilation is called Artificial Intelligence and was re-released in 2005 so that is floating around and features one of my favorite songs ever, “The Egg” by Autechre. You should own it, too.

Probably one of the coolest aspects to his being at Day for Night is that we really have no idea what is on the agenda. He released Sygo in 2014 and the Cheetah EP mid-year, but never really was out in support. Aphex Twin is showing up on several Euro summer festivals lineups, so it seems we get the scoop. As a teaser, this showed up on the intarwebs a few weeks ago.

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