Released this week in 1997, we revisit electronic maverick Aphex Twin's seminal EP Come to Daddy
The man himself, Richard D James, gave a brief background to the album, stating "Come to Daddy came about while I was just hanging around my house, getting pissed and doing this crappy death metal jingle. Then it got marketed and a video was made, and this little idea that I had, which was a joke, turned into something huge. It wasn't right at all."
Taking the form of an 8-track release, Come to Daddy 's self titled lead single is perhaps most celebrated for it's disturbing video. Featuring the same council estate backdrop as Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, an old Granny, and what can only be describes as a grotesque goblin figure. The video has been described by MTV executive James Hyman as “one of the most powerful, certainly the most disturbing I’ve ever seen.”
The relationship between the audio and visuals are perfectly intertwined to portray the gritty, unsettling aesthetic of the overall piece. As a result, director Chris Cunningham was propelled from relative obscurity into one of the most sought after directors in the game, going on to produce visuals for the likes of Bjork and Madonna.
Somewhat surprisingly, Come to Daddy charted at number 36 in the UK Singles Chart and is still Aphex Twin's most successful commercial release to date. Track 4 on the EP, the strangely titled "Bucephalus Bouncing Ball" was used as the soundtrack for Darren Aronofsky's 1998 psychological thriller Pi.
Richard James has been on typical absurd form this year with the release of Syro, his first full studio album on Warp Records. The promotional campaign for the release started when an Aphex Twin blimp was spotted gliding over the streets of London, before lists of equipment used and album budgets were revealed as another promotional device. Needless to say, the album has been a truly remarkable celebration of one of electronic music's true pioneers and has been superbly received by artists and critics alike.
Words: Louis Curran
14 Oct 2014