Aphex Twin’s Cheetah EP now streaming

Aphex Twin Cheetah EP release
Aphex Twin Cheetah EP release

Aphex Twin‘s Cheetah EP is now available for streaming via BBC Radio 6 Music here. The seven-track EP from electronic misfit Richard David James is due for release on UK label Warp this Friday. The BBC programmed a two-hour show based around the release, which includes artists that influenced Aphex Twin.

Aphex Twin collaborates with 12-year-old director for CIRKLON3 video

The first release from the EP was “CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ]”, which dropped on June 21. James uploaded a video clip for the song, which was directed by Ryan Wyer, a 12-year-old Welsh boy. Wyer uploaded a series of fan video clips for Aphex Twin songs in 2014 and 2015, which James took a liking to despite their lo-fi, home-made aesthetic. It was a good choice by James as Wyer’s clip for “CIRKLON3” is more interesting than the average commercially-produced video clip. The clip, which is Aphex Twin’s first official clip in 17 years, has already amassed more than 800,000 views.

Cheetah EP inspired by notorious failed synthesizer unit

Aphex Twin Cheetah EP Cheetah MS800 synthesizer
The Cheetah MS800 synthesizer.

The Cheetah EP is named for the notorious Cheetah MS800 synthesizer. The synth, made by British company Cheetah in the 1980s, is so atrociously difficult to program that it was a commercial disaster. I guess James likes a challenge as he completed the EP using the unit. The EP promotional material quotes the Cheetah MS800 user manual, while the cover art is inspired by the packaging of the Cheetah Sweet Talker speech synthesizer.

Cheetah was previewed for fans at Summer NAMM in Nashville last month. On June 29 James gave fans online a listen of two tracks: Second track “CHEETAHT7b” and the EP closer “2X202-ST5“. The former was premiered on Laurene Laverne’s BBC show, while the latter was played on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 program.

The Cheetah EP follows 2015’s Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 EP and 2014 LP Syro. After a nine-year break between releases from 2005 to 2014, it seems the Irish musician is entering one his most prolific periods.

The EP has its own website here. Digital and vinyl pre-orders are available via Amazon.

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