Electronica Britannica

Electronica Britannica

23rd September 2014 saw the release of ‘Syro’, the first in 13 years for British electronic musician Aphex Twin.

Aphex Twin has produced dozens of albums since becoming known in the early 1990s and boasts hundreds of hours of unreleased material.
He has also released music under a long list of pseudonyms and worked with some of the world’s most influential electronic artists.

Throughout his career Aphex Twin (real name Richard David James) has defied convention, breaking trends in the industry and flatly refusing to be shoehorned into a genre.
He possesses a dark sense of humour, clearly audible in the material he releases. His first album was highly regarded by critics, but his second run in the opposite direction, in what appeared to be an elaborate joke on the electronic community.

GOLD PANDA

Fellow British artist Gold Panda emerged in 2010 as one of the UK’s new electronic stars.
On a personal note, he attended the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, as did I. I guess this makes him my senpai.

Perhaps more relevant locally, his 2013 album “Half of Where You Live” features a song titled ‘Enoshima’.

BRITISH MUSIC

The UK has a reputation for producing groundbreaking musical material and giving birth to new genres.
Certainly, this is true to some extent. Looking back through the last few centuries, English composers and musicians have devised some of the most original and creative material and spread it around the world.

From Methodist hymns to the Beatles, to the Rolling Stones, to punk, to the Smiths to Radiohead to Aphex Twin and to Gold Panda. Perhaps isolation from the rest of Europe and the world for all this time has given British artists enough space to be creative. Undoubtedly in the case of Aphex Twin this is true, growing up in the remote county of Cornwall.

Why doesn’t the UK produce big musical artists anymore? A wild guess, but with the rampant exploitation of music as a commercially marketable, consumable ‘product’, the British music industry plays second fiddle to America.
Independent music labels and artists exist but with nowhere near the publicity budget to gain a foothold in the market.

Aphex Twin, as part of this independent movement, is a big fish in a small pond, but the reaction to the latest album has proved there is a demand out there for quality electronic music.

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