Two weeks before Aphex Twin drops his first new LP in 13 years, the electronic musician born Richard D. James has revealed “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix],” the first cut from his upcoming Syro. Don’t let that strange song title scare you: The first thing you’ll notice, besides the fact that James’ talents haven’t dulled in the least, is that the 13-year hiatus helped Aphex Twin reconnect with his more melodic side. Whereas much of 2001’s Druqks was dissonant and avant-IDM, “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]” opens up sounding like a more matured variation of James’ early accessible tracks like “Delphium” and “Alberto Balsalm” before its breathtaking, mellower second half takes over.
The other noteworthy characteristic about “minipops 67”: Vocals, or at least something that resembles a voice that’s been masked and processed. James has only employed his voice on a handful of tracks in his extensive catalog – notably on songs like “Come to Daddy” and “Milkman” – so it’s interesting to hear him use the heavily distorted vocals layered almost as an additional instrument, much like he did on “Windowlicker.”
Rolling Stone spoke to James recently about how he feels about the new album. “Horny. I’m feeling really horny about it. And very smug,” the musician said. Although Syro arrives September 19th, Aphex Twin is already looking toward his next release. “I’m in that mode now, so hopefully I’ll stay in it for a while,” James said. “I’ve got a few more things planned – at least a couple more albums, some EPs, things like that. Some more dance-y things I did about 10 years ago. Experimental things, noise things, weird things. Shitloads of stuff. They’re all pretty much ready to go.”