Twenty years ago, Richard James, the musician behind Aphex Twin, planned to release Caustic Window, but abandoned the project and left test-pressings in the hands of just four people. After one copy surfaced on Discogs earlier this year, a group of fans, led by James Thomas, used Kickstarter to raise money to purchase and then release the album, striking a one-time distribution deal with James and his label, Rephlex Records.
The Kickstarter was a resounding success, with 4,124 backers raising $67,424. Copies of Caustic Window were sent out earlier this month, and one, perhaps unsurprisingly, just surfaced on YouTube. The plan was always to auction off the physical copy, and now the $46,300 Persson spent on Caustic Window will be divided and shared, with one third going to James and Rephlex as royalty, another third going to the 4,124 Kickstarter backers and the last third going to charity.
“[Persson]’s a really cool guy, and didn’t even consider the charity aspect when buying it (but was really happy to hear that half is going to charity) — he’s been an Aphex fan since he was young,” Thomas wrote under his username “Joyrex,” on the forum, We are the Music Makers. “My daughter was blown away that the guy who made the game she endlessly plays bought a record off her dad for 46K.”
As Rolling Stone learned in our recent profile on Persson, the Swedish game creator is a huge electronic music fan, throwing massive parties featuring music from EDM superstars like Avicii, Deadmau5, Skrillex and A-Trak. “It’s a very stupid way to spend money,” Persson admitted. “But why not? People say, ‘You should invest it.’ So I can get more money to put in a pile? At least if you spend it, it goes back and does something, maybe.”