Aphex Twin’s Top Gear – The Unknown Facts

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Who Is Aphex Twin?

Aphex Twin, also known by his original name Richard D. James, is an Irish-born British musician and electronic music maker. Due to his amazing work in electronic music styles such as IDM and acid techno, Richard has been praised worldwide by critics and loved by fans who seem to get his surreal, unorthodox musical stylings and dark of sense humour.

Some of his first and popular albums were his 1992 album called Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and the one in 1994 named Selected Ambient Works Volume II. However, his popularity skyrocketed with his 1997 EP Come To Daddy and his single “Windowlicker”.

His most recent album released in 2014 “Syro” won him a Grammy Award for the best electronic album.

Richard’s Face

James decided to use his face, grinned or distorted, on his covers and songs because techno producers used to hide their identities.

He explained that there is an unwritten rule in techno, where performers can’t show their face on songs and covers.

aphex-twin kid

Aphex Twin’s Top Gear

PlayerPro Tracker

This is a complete music editing software and player, which is available for Mac. To work with it, you are not required to have a specific hardware. Currently, it is considered as the best music editing software available for Mac devices.  Richard said that he recorded the majority of the album Drukqs with PlayerPro Tracker.

Here is a link to PlayerPro Tracker on Sourceforge that we dug up

Akai MPC60

MPC60 is a music production studio, created by the Japanese company Akai and designed by Roger Linn.

Akai MPC60 aphex twin

MPC60 offers 99 patterns, 99 sequences and 99 tracks per sequence that can be created & edited seamlessly. You can easily edit samples, loop, and transform with the lo-fi Sampler section. There’s also a built-in drum machine. Those who want to create Hip Hop, then there are 18 voices of polyphony available for you.  

Richard has been known to use the MPC60 on a number of occasions, especially live.

Check out the Akai MPC Professional on Amazon for something similar


This is an electronic music studio especially created for Mac devices. With it, you can create, compose, transform and design music the way you want. You can quickly produce full-length compositions with the six rooms it has to offer.  You will find it used extensively in his song, Windowlicker…

Visit http://uisoftware.com/MetaSynth/

Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer

TR-808 uses analog synthesis to create its drum sounds that are of very high-quality. Many performers use this hardware to create R&B, dance, techno and hip-hop music.

The machine offers 16 drum sounds including low/mid/high toms, congas, rimshot, snare, 808 kick, maracas, cowbell, open hi-hat and lots more. In fact, a large number of these sounds can be easily edited.

You can find some of these sounds on his Ambient Works tracks, or on Polygon Window.


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Sequentix Cirklon

Cirklon is a MIDI sequencer made in small batches by Colin Fraser. An interesting fact about this niche equipment is that you have to be on a waiting list to buy one.

The quality of this machine is incredibly high, and Colin will help you out in case something gets broken. With Cirklon you can create patterns, which can be either piano roll style with high-res or rigid step sequences.

There are around 64 tracks, and each one of them can play a pattern. All the information, regarding which patterns are played, is carefully stored and organized.

richard d james

Aphex Twin even said himself in a recent interview: “it is the best sequencer ever made til now, in terms of analogue i/o, timing man that box…its got a long way to go but I can’t endorse it enough ! I’ve never been into endorsing anything, I’ve been asked by a lot of people but i hate the idea of it, makes my skin crawl, there can be good combos for sure between artist and maker but when its too business it all goes wrong, people gotta make a living but you can tell easily when people got their priorities wrong anyhow, anyway colin is totally on it and in it for the right reasons.
i hope colin does really well out of it, he deserves to , guys a genius and he’s got my gx1 still for midi -ing! but at the mo id rather he kept o.s updates flowing:)”

Check out https://www.sequentix.com/shop/cirklon-hardware-sequencer

You can hear this slick synth on his album Syro, for which he won a frickin’ Grammeee brah! Watch his tear jerking speech here:

10 Unknown Facts About Apex Twin

  1. What many people don’t know is that Richard took his pseudonym from a single processing equipment brand known as Aphex Systems Limited. “Twin” is in memory of his older brother who died at birth (a story he has trolled the media with on more than one occasion).  
  1. “Drukqs” was released in 2001, even though that he had said that he would compose music only for him. However, his laptop with hundreds of tracks was stolen, and he feared that somebody would upload them. Thus, he decided to release the double album himself.
  1. James once revealed that he had spent five weeks without sleeping because he had to make music. That’s a person who is ready to go the extra mile for his performance.
  1. Once Madonna requested a remix, but he was willing to do it only if she made pig noises on the track.
  1. Richard used to scare his girlfriend by putting his “Come to Daddy” silicone mask in bed. He puts it, cuddles next to her and waits for her response when she turns around. Crazy, isn’t he?
  1. Back in the days, Aphex remixed a Craig David track only with one sole purpose: to irritate him. According to James, he has hundreds of unreleased tracks stored.
  1. Back in the days, when James was a young kid, he used to mess with the wires and hammers of their piano. This had established a special connection to music from an early age

We leave you with this nice interview with Richard talking about God knows what…

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