‘Does he drive a tank round Cornwall? Did he once live in a bank vault in the middle of the Elephant & Castle roundabout? Does he own a submarine?’
Aphex Twin’s interviews are notorious for the extravagant claims he makes about his own life. This self-built mythology has become as much of a part of his identity as his intricately composed electronic music, and a new documentary for BBC Radio 4 dives into the many facts and fictions surrounding the artist, describing him as a “product of the Cornish myth-making tradition”.
Titled “The Cult of Aphex Twin”, the documentary is presented by music journalist John Doran of The Quietus. It delves deep into the lore surrounding Richard D. James, asking questions such as: “Does he really write songs while asleep after training himself in the practice of lucid dreaming? Does he drive a tank round Cornwall? Did he once live in a bank vault in the middle of the Elephant & Castle roundabout? Does he own a submarine? Does his DJ tech rider include a food processor and sheets of sandpaper? Does he move among his many fans on electronic dance music forums online, often trolling them and stirring up these very myths?”
Along the way, Doran speaks to Frank Ocean producer Vegyn, comedian Vic Reeves, and musician, writer, and academic David Toop. Listen to the full broadcast here.
Aphex Twin’s last release was 2016’s Cheetah EP – listen below.