Michael Frett: Check out them cellos in the background.
Tucker Phillips: My name’s Aphex Twin and I like my drums to chirp and twitter.
Sean Reichard: DAMN THIS IS WHAT I EXPECTED IT TO BE.
TP: SEAN IS ON THE MARK SO HARD RIGHT NOW.
Matt Bertram: I PLAY CELLO.
TP: Matt. Are you Aphex Twin.
MF: Do you bloop, though? Or maybe even bleep?
SR: Are your drums a leaf on the wind? Can you watch how they soar?
TP: Can you break a song down and then have some studio chatter and THEN bring the track back in like it ain’t no thing?
MF: Does your cello summon the glowing beauty of a full string section?
MB: I am George Lopez.
TP: That makes slightly more sense.
MF: This changes everything. Man, I really like these strings.
TP: PSYCH! They’re not real! Aphex Twin got you again! That prankster.
SR: So this is what I haven’t been listening to all these years.
MF: I feel like that may be the least Aphex Twinny thing on the record, but I really like these fake strings. Next thing you know, he’ll be photoshopping his grin onto bikini clad models. You card, Aphex Twin. You rascal.
TP: This song has more breakdowns than my Ford Fusion. Oh gosh, fade-out. Don’t tell Kyle.
2) “Cornish Acid”
TP: This song is multitudes more wobbly than the last.
SR: Wibble wobble.
MF: Aphex Twin swaggers into a club.
TP: Where “4” was but a landlubber, this song is fully aboard the vessel. I love the drums, they’re like full stops that URGE you to go on. Like a period AND an ellipses.
SR: APHEX TWIN: AURAL GRAMMARIAN.
TP: Goral Orangutang.
MF: I’m trying to think of a way to phonetically bleep these bloops. Bleepbleep-blooooooooop. And scene.
TP: And then the computer crashes.
MF: It just bluescreened on us.
SR: DAT DIAL TONE. Guys, why didn’t you force me to listen to Aphex Twin sooner?
TP: IT IS A PILGRIMAGE YOU MUST EMBARK UPON YOURSELF.
MF: The best way to sell Sean on an album: dial tones.
3) “Peek 824545201”
TP: Hello? Oh, it’s for you.
SR: It was like Morse code. Telegraph clacking. Dat dissonance.
MF: My copy’s missing this track…
TP: Imagine yourself in an Aphex Twin track. I will describe it to you. There is somebody trying to hack into your phone line on speaker A.
MF: My mind’s adrift in a sea of codes and photoshop grins.
TP: On speaker B, there’s something that’s not a drum but is trying very hard to be one.
SR: Man, how intermedial are we getting in this thread?
TP: Imagine this conversation as a drum loop. But with burbles and plonks instead of the usual skin-flinnery. Also I think we lost Matt in the aether.
MB: Nah I’m trippin’ n’ groovin’.
MF: MATT LIVES.
SR: GROOVIN’ IN THE AETHER.
TP: APHEX TWIN HAS BROUGHT HIM BACK. PRAISE BE. PRAISE BE.
MF: HARK, WHAT SHALL WE DO NEXT, OH MIGHTY RICHARD D. JAMES?
SR: Sloooooooow dooooooooown. Like an old car.
TP: Let’s bib a finger.
TP: Do you guys like melodies?
SR: DO I??
TP: I mean, I know you like drum machine bloopery. But what if there were, like, pitches? In a sequence?
MF: I love me some melodies with my loopin’ bloopin’. And it’s building.
TP: APHEX TWIN DEMANDS YOU NOD YOUR HEAD.
SR: YES. GOOOOUD.
MF: …into what might be the favorite of the little Aphex Twin I know.
TP: Man could (and still can) bust out the darndest melodies.
MF: High fake strings, I missed you.
SR: Imagine Star Wars if it had been scored by Aphex Twin.
TP: Well, there’d be fewer movies lately. I can tell you that.
MF: WITNESS THE POWER OF THIS FULLY OPERATIONAL BATTLE STATION.
TP: THIS WHOLE SONG IS A BRIDGE.
SR: TO TERABITHIA?
TP: NO. FROM TERABITHIA.
MF: YO, DO YOU LIKE CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT MAGICAL LANDS?
SR: WHY DON’T YOU GIVE THIS APHEX TWIN A LISTEN.
MF: HERE’S A STORY ABOUT YOUR FRIEND DYING.
SR: To the man in the pink corner!
5) “Carn Marth”
MB: Ok, whatever that weird sound in this song is is EXACTLY TEH SAME AS MILES DAVIS’ WAH WAH TRUMPET!
TP: Drum’s not dead. I can hear it! MILES DAVIS’ SPIRIT LIVES ON IN PASTY WHITE BRITISH DUDES WITH PONYTAILS.
MF: That drum’s having a seizure.
TP: Oh my god I love that acidic whatever sound going on in the middle. Sounds like he’s grinding the song down and the melody’s flying off like a bunch of sparks.
MF: Man, if a song could physically drip something.
TP: THE FIRE LIGHTS HIS GRINNING FACE WITH A DEVILISH GLOW.
MF: THE CAMERA PANS OUT. EVERYONE’S APHEX TWIN!
TP: Except, notably, John Malkovich.
SR: These drums are jackhammers.
TP: Phone’s off the hook again.
MF: I think my favorite part is all the parts that aren’t the drums. Because them bleepy bloops are blooptiful.
SR: Not to be confused with the jackalope though!
6) “To Cure a Weakling Child”
TP: CHILDREN. My arms and my ears: all you need to enjoy an Aphex Twin album.
MF: I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing with my arms.
SR: IT SOUNDS LIKE THE DRUMS ARE A RUSTLING CARPET.
TP: This is what kindergarten would have sounded like if my kindergarten were a hyperactive electronic music album.
MF: Man, those keyboards in the background are doing wonders.
SR: Like a nursery rhyme run through a carbonator.
MF: “Yo, do you like ‘Penny Lane’? Well have I got subtle fake horn hits for you!”
TP: James’ take on childhood is my favorite in music, I think.
SR: ‘Tis a strange beast, this music. Like the wolpertinger!
TP: A wolpertinger in everything but name! What’s a wolpertinger?
MF: KIDS STOP BREAKING THE CLASSROOM.
TP: Oh gosh.
SR: IS. A. WOLPERTINGER.
TP: Oh gosh. Oh gosh.
TP: To cure a wolpertinger child.
MF: I have no words for all of these…um…
SR: LOOKS PRETTIER IN THE PAINTINGS THOUGH
TP: Like Aphex Twin’s music, the wolpertinger is a rabbit with antlers.
SR: APHEX TWIN: A WOLPERTINGER FOR OUR TIMES.
MF: APHEX TWIN IS A MAD TAXIDERMIST APPARENTLY.
7) “Goon Gumpas”
MF: Haven’t heard from Matt in a while. That goon. /gumpa. What’s a gumpa?
SR: So…lullabyish. And childlike.
TP: I feel like XTC and Aphex Twin could have made a hell of an album together. Goon Gumpas is a place, I think.
MF: I feel like this is a lost Zelda soundtrack piece. TAKE ME TO HYRULE, APHEX TWIN.
SR: HEY GOD OF MUSIC.
Sorry not sorry.
MF: This is going to be one incredibly visual LA, isn’t it?
MF: I wonder if Palpatine would be an Aphex Twin fan.
SR: Boardwalk of dreams.
8) “Yellow Calx”
TP: The first half of this album is so angry.
MF: Wait, what? I didn’t get “angry” at all.
SR: How would you explain the dichotomy?
TP: It’s more…visceral. Remember the wobbles of yore? I figure he just made some great tea at some point in the middle there.
MF: If anything it all sounds super playful.
SR: TWO SIDES, TWO FACES.
MF: Oh. Oh man. I’m sure there’s a tea pun to be made out of “Goon Gumpas.” I’m not man enough to look for it.
TP: Oh wait the wobbles are back.
MF: All Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde. I hope Aphex Twin’s darkside also invests in classy hats.
SR: GETTIN’ LITERARY UP IN HERE. Also, wobble wobble. Wobble wobble. Computer noises.
TP: Lots of what could and may possibly be but are probably not phone noises on this baby.
SR: Neal Stephenson, you have your pizza music.
TP: You know what? I bet Neal Stephenson is an Aphex Twin fan.
SR: I STILL NEED TO READ “SNOW CRASH” AHHH. AND “INHERENT VICE.”
TP: THEY’RE BASICALLY THE SAME BOOK.
9) “Girl/Boy Song”
SR: Oh how whimsical. It’s like listening to a cuter version of “Golden Hours” by Brian Eno. AND HERE COME THE DRUMS.
TP: I don’t have much to say about this bad boy. I just like every part of it and think it’s awesome.
MF: This is what I imagine Gomez likes to drum to when he’s not wearing hats.
SR: You think Paul Banwatt could drum these drums?
TP: Maybe a Banwatt and a half.
SR: To the cloning lab!
TP: THE WORLD COULD BARELY CONTAIN ONE BANWATT.
MF: APHEX TWIN / RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE COLLAB WHEN?
SR: WAIT NO SOMETHING WENT WRONG. IT’S GONE ALL “THE FLY” IN HERE.
TP: DON’T PLAY GOD, SEAN. NEVER PLAY GOD.
SR: THE BANWATTS GOT SPLICED!
THERE WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE MORE THAN ONE.
MF: BUT WAIT. THIS ISN’T THE ACHTUNG BABY LA.
TP: Somewhere, Aphex Twin grudgingly shoulders his rifle.
SR: Also these cellos are stately.
TP: This bridge here with the plucks is maybe my favorite aphex twin moment.
SR: DAT CELESTE(?) AHH
TP: And the drums are like “make way, breh”.
MF: All the synthetic orchestrations are my favorite things ever.
SR: I WAS CAUGHT UNAWARES BY THAT DRUM TORNADO.
10) “Logan Rock Witch”
SR: BOING BOING.
TP: AUSTRAPHEX TWIN.
SR: Organ. Organ. Organ.
MF: BOUNCING ONTO SCENE. So apparently this kangaroo is visiting Transylvania?
TP: The melody that pops up right about…now. I love it.
SR: This is like textbook gradiation breh, and I love it. Goddamnit Tucker why didn’t you insist on Aphex Twin earlier?
TP: Slide whistles for you! And slide whistles for you! You get a slide whistle!
MF: ORGAN SOLO.
TP: The organist is drunk. Go home, organist.
TP: Slide whistler is on point though, as always.
SR: Is…is something… going to happen?
MF: Whoever’s playing the springs knows what’s up.
TP: THE LOGAN ROCK WITH WILL RISE AGAIN.
SR: What’s that knocking? What’s he building in there?
TP: TOM WAITS, SAVE US! But it was too late. We all went to heaven in a little rowboat.
TP: You tried valiantly, Mr. Waits. But Tom Waits for no man.
MF: I guess that answers the age old question of who would win in a fight: a kangaroo or an organ player. WAIT NO, ROUND 2!
SR: And fin.