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Hear Me Out: Aphex Twin, 'minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]'

By Courtesy Warp
By Se-Ho B. Kim, Crimson Staff Writer
minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]

Electronic musician Richard James, who primarily records under the moniker of Aphex Twin, hasn’t released a single since 1999. But judging from “minipop 67,” the lead single off the upcoming “Syro,” it might be impossible to tell. The beat is a little less aggressive than we’re used to hearing from Aphex Twin, but the momentum, vocoded vocals, and barely tonal melodic lines all carry over from his previous discography and make their mark on “minipops 67”—perhaps because the single is one of the older tracks on “Syro,” dating back seven or eight years.

Employing his old tricks nearly one-and-a-half decades since his last LP, James carefully interlaces augmented and minor modes to create a harmonic push and pull that competes with the labyrinthine but steadfast rhythmic pattern for dominance over the track. James has carefully crafted entire albums in this way before—tracks that supply energy transition into tracks that consume it, polarizing the album into moments of dynamism and stasis. However, “minipops 67” is neither a “Cock/Ver10” nor an “Avril 14th” but contains elements of both, the soft synths and intimate vocals rubbing warmly against the scattered, unrelenting percussion.

“minipops 67” is an appropriate track to reintroduce Aphex Twin after 14 years of silence. It showcases the electronic composer’s often overlooked ear for harmony while breathing life into an upcoming album that now promises to stay true to his discography. For many years, James has experimented with combining his sounds in new ways, and with “minipops 67,” he seems to be suggesting more of the same on “Syro.”

“Syro” is out Sept. 19 via Warp Records.

—Staff writer Se-Ho B. Kim can be reached at

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