KEXP Documentaries: “Electronic Innovators” – Aphex Twin

photo by Wolfgang Tillmanscourtesy of Warp Records

Each week KEXP Documentaries bring you a musical subject in the time it takes to play just one song! This week, we team up with Seattle’s Decibel Festival to continue our series “Electronic Innovators”.  Today we take a look at eccentric artist Aphex Twin.  This radio profile airs at 3pm today on Kevin Cole’s Afternoon Show and re-airs Saturday at 4pm.

Richard D. James goes by the name Aphex Twin.  He grew up in Cornwall, England and as a teenager used to take apart electronic devices to see how they worked.  James started DJing in Cornwall in the late 80s.  In 1992 as Aphex Twin he came out with “Selected Ambient Works:85-92. This album explored the electronic style called “ambient” and included some gorgeous, beatless, melodic neo-classical sounds.

On Aphex Twin’s third album “I Care Because You Do” in 1995, he came up with a whole  new sound.  This new sound was more dark, fast-paced and bordering on the edge of insanity. No one could figure out how he got the music to sound so different from anything they’d ever heard.  Aphex Twin made himself even more strange-seeming by photoshopping the same picture of his face onto other bodies for videos and album covers. And also  with offstage antics like purchasing a castle and an army tank.  He continues to produce loads of music to this day and is still one of the most unique-sounding artists on earth.


Listen to this KEXP Documentary: 

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For more info on the internationally-acclaimed Decibel Festival, coming to multiple venues here in Seattle on September 28 through October 2, visit

KEXP Documentaries are created by Michele Myers. This series was co-produced by Decibel Festival‘s Sean Horton. Assistant Producers are John Felthous and Mary Janisch. Lesson Plans are created by Tiffany Grobelski and Michele Myers. Executive Producer is Kevin Cole. If you would like to follow along more closely in the creation of these radio stories, we post research materials, songs and videos on our Facebook page and on Twitter.

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