Although fans were treated to a collection of unreleased Aphex Twin material earlier in the year, the new album, SYRO (pronounced “Sigh-ro” according to James), serves as the first record from Aphex Twin since the release of his 2001 LP Drukqs. James
revealed that much of SYRO was recorded over the last five years in around six different studios–including one he built himself.
All the tracks I’ve done in the last five years were made in like six different studios. It gets a bit complicated…It’s because I finished making a studio in Scotland that I’d been building for about three years. It took so long…But then I realized I actually like making studios more than making music, because I like the possibilities of what you can do. I make these setups that will achieve some sort of purpose, so the way I’ve wired it together becomes the track in itself.
James’ love for constructing studios and experimenting with different equipment played a big role in the formation of SYRO. James even went as far as to add an equipment list for his fans who are technical junkies like himself.
I am so insane for equipment, so that story needs to be told. And the list is fucking massive. It is so stupid. It was really hard to do—I gave up about 10 times. I thought I would be able to remember what every bit of equipment was for each track, but I totally couldn’t. I was like, “What is that fucking synth?” So I didn’t put every single thing down, but I tried my best until I started going mad.
I used to be a bit secretive and didn’t want people to know what I was using, or get too fixated and waste their money buying equipment, because it’s not about what equipment you have, it’s what you do with it.
As for what to expect from the album sound-wise, James explains how his “erratic” personality often manifests itself in his music and creates a similar, chaotic listening experience with SYRO.
I’d like them all [the songs] to be totally different, because I’ve got all these different setups, so it should be really different…It [the album] can be quite impenetrable for most people, because you can’t latch on to something. It sounds quite random at first. I’m an erratic person: From setups to actually when I’m doing a track, it’s just turning and switching and changing all the time. But there is a method. People just have to take time to work it out.
SYRO is out Sept. 23 via Warp Records.
01. minipops 67 (source field mix)
02. XMAS_Eve10 (thanaton3 mix)
03. produk 29
04. 4 bit 9d epi+e+6
06. CIRCLONT6A (syrobonkus mix)
07. fz pseudotimestrech+e+3
08. CIRCLONT14 (shrymoming mix)
09. syro u473t8+e (piezoluminescence mix)
10. PAPAT4 (pineal mix)
11. s950tx16wasr10 (earth portal mix)