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Saturday 4 March 2023

Saturday Live

Aphex Twin playing to a mixed age crowd in a long concrete room, Printworks, in London in September 2019 (and doesn't 2019 seem like a different time now?). There's a lightshow and lasers. The crowd stand facing the DJ, an aspect of modern clubbing I still find a bit odd, especially the people who go down the front and stand at the barriers like it's a rock gig. Richard D. James plays some records, some made by himself, some by other people. There are some other pieces of kit in the DJ booth, synths and drum machines, for live accompaniment to the music, at times breaks and drums on their own linking two records but a part of the show in their own. There's a slow intro, the sounds easing the crowd in gently and then after two minutes he segues into one of his own tracks, an unreleased one that may be titled London trk 1. Sounds fade in and out, there are breakdowns, juddering rhythms and the sweet glide of ambient techno, some old school favourites- Renegade Soundwave's The Phantom must have been in his record box since 1989 and Holy Ghost Inc's Mad Monks On Zinc and Underground Resistance's UR My People since 1991- and some brain melting Aphex Twin tracks. It builds into what becomes something quite frantic and full on, some unreleased Squarepusher hitting hard and then he breaks it all down, flicking the switch into his own ambient classic Stone In Focus, a ten minute beatless track that sounds like the universe being created very slowly. This Aphex Twin DJ gig is in every sense, a show, an experience, two hours of cross generational appreciation of a master at work. 


Anonymous said...

Man I wish I'd seen that gig. I must write up the piece I promised you for this excellent series.

Swiss Adam said...

I really need to see AFX next time he plays anywhere up here. Happy to receive your piece for this series Swc.