aphex twin’s first music video in 17 years was directed by a 12-year-old boy
The elusive master of enigmatic ambient tapped Ryan Wyer, an Irish middle schooler, for his first visual in nearly two decades.
In 1999, Aphex Twin released the music video for his highest charting single, "Windowlicker." Directed by Stanley Kubrick favorite Chris Cunningham, "Windowlicker" is a profanity-packed, ten-minute parody of American gangsta visuals. The oddball video — nominated for both the 2000 Brit Award for British Video and the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video — still bears a considerable influence on today's music videos, for example: Young Thug's mega-viral "Best Friend."
Now, the mysterious electronic master has debuted his first music video in the near two decades since "Windowlicker's" release. It does not include any of the lush Los Angeles landscape shots, Michael Jackson-esque dance sequences, or, uh, memorable special effects (think of the most disturbing FaceSwap Snapchats you've been sent recently) that make "Windowlicker" so iconic. Actually, it was directed by a 12-year-old Irish boy.
Aphex Twin shared the visuals for "CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ]" today, a single presumably lifted from his forthcoming EP, Cheetah. It's directed by Ryan Wyer, a middle schooler from Dublin who uploads under the name epic1:40d Gaming. Apparently, Aphex Twin discovered Ryan's channel (as Noisey points out, their slightly terrifying aesthetics align), and the young YouTuber was given free reign for "CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ]".
The result is just over eight minutes of energetic, lo-fi visuals, most of which look as though they were filmed using an early version of iMac Photobooth. Ryan, his three siblings, and friends flail wildly in Aphex Twin T-shirts and masks that hark back to the chilling video Cunningham directed for Aphex Twin's 1997 single "Come to Daddy." There are also some shots of the Irish coastline and countryside, all distorted through the colorful graphic filters.
After the credits roll, an ominous "To Be Continued" appears. Might we see more Wyer collaborations in the run up to Cheetah's release? Honestly, it's about the most Aphex Twin thing Aphex Twin could do these days.
Aphex Twin's 'Cheetah' EP arrives via Warp Records on July 8.
Text Emily Manning