This article was originally published by i-D US.
Aphex Twin has mad faith in the kids. Last summer, Richard D. James released the first Aphex Twin music video in 17 years, handing the creative reins to a 12-year-old Irish boy he found on YouTube. James's next pre-teen collaborator is slightly less random. It's his eight-year-old son, who contributes vocals to the surprise new track Korg Funk 5. This follows a premature three-year hiatus from the synth-savvy grade schooler. In 2014, James claimed that his then-six-year-old had "already made an album on Renoise and published it on Bandcamp," "He was five when he did most of it and all", and "I never showed him a thing, he worked it all out himself, mind boggling."
The song is the culmination of James's collaboration with audio brand Korg on its new Monologue instrument. It was created exclusively using Korg synthesisers (in addition to the aforementioned vocal samples). And that's not all: Korg Funk 5 was unveiled as an accompaniment to a rare, extensive, and beautifully nerdy interview between James and Korg's former synth guru Tatsuya Takahashi. This marks an exciting departure from the recent Aphex Twin tradition of dropping new tracks on secret SoundCloud accounts or mysterious 12" records only available to purchase in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
The 6,000-word interview is a pretty dizzying dive into the technicalities of microtuning and the mathematical relationships of audio frequencies. (Presumably it was done over email or chat, given the prevalence of "ha!", "LOLz," smiley face emojis, and action-denoting asterisks — at one point, James professes to *blush* when credited with finding the elusive CC34 VCO1 pitch.) More mainstream highlights include a discussion about creative dreams and fears. "I think we all have to fight against this, especially as you get older," James says of the temptation to get trapped in a cycle of repetition. "I've really been looking at my habits recently and denying them. It feels great if you can manage it."
One secret Aphex Twin didn't reveal is what the hell is going on with that countdown clock.
Text Hannah Ongley
Image via YouTube