Edit: everything in this post turned out true, like a Disney film with a junglist soundtrack. See the update on Aphex Twin here.
Like a ricketty rollercoaster at a termite-infested fairground, we're back round the Aphex Twin speculation loop and, quite frankly, the seatbelt's digging into my ribs.
As I revealed on Fat Roland's Oozy Bleeps yesterday, electronic music site Hyponik blurted out a teaser video designed to sign people up to its mailing list. It was entitled AFX Seaside Specials From Aphex Twin and was a mass of promenade camera footage, decaying film reel and that trademark Aphex grin. This was all set to an Aphexian dense drum-and-bass track.
The longer downloaded video (see above) ended with a date that clanged massive bells with every Aphex fan, as if Hellboy was taking out his frustration on a test-your-strength machine inside your eardrum. "12 March 2011", said the date. CLANG! It's a new album! CLANG! It sounds like Aphex Twin! CLANG! It looks like Aphex Twin! CLANG! It's a new album from Aphex Twin! CLAAAANG!
The truth is as disappointing as a house of horrors with crying middle aged men in white sheets going woooh as armless plastic skeletons lean awkwardly in damp plywood coffins. Aphex Twin's March 2011 Seaside Specials album does not exist. There, I've said it. That's another notch on my google ranking for "Aphex Twin's new album does not exist".
The track in the video is not an Aphex Twin tune. It's by dgoHn (pronounce it as a harder "John"), an artist played live by the 'Twinned one before being signed to the Rephlex Records label. It's a 2005 tune called Vase and you can stream it here. The one in the Aphex Twin video is slightly different (the cut-out before the beat drops in the video, the voices on the original), so it's prob'lee an excerpt from a live DJ set, a remix, or both.
Which leads me to the reason for the video's existence in the first place: it's an advert for his appearance at the 2011 Bloc Weekender festival. CRASH! That's the rollercoaster falling off the tracks and landing on the candy floss stall. Let's sift through the bloodied sugar puffballs for evidence, shall we?
1. The video makes a reference to seasides. The Bloc Weekender is at Butlins in Minehead.
2. The video makes a reference to 12th March next year. This is when Bloc will take place.
3. Aphex Twin has played this electronic-music-friendly event before, and even played dgoHn's Vase in his set in 2009. (At the 99 minute mark, if the comments here are to be believed.) I would love to hear a recording of that bit of the set...
4. The video contains exactly the kind of visuals Aphex Twin uses in his live set (see more about this at Brainchops' excellent blog post).
5. This was posted by Bloc on their Facebook page as an obvious teaser about their 2011 line-up.
6. The internet loves Aphex speculation, whether it's his new album, or The Tuss, or his new album, or his new album, well, mostly it's his new album.
So what are we left with? A mangled wreck of carriages, candy floss and carnival folk and no more clues as to the whereabouts of Aphex Twin's latest release. We're on the edge of Blackpool's north pier in the bitter wind and sea spray with no-one to guide us other than hardened half-naked pensioners in sagging deckchairs.
Let's hold on to the fact that Bloc 2011 looks proper smart, dgoHn is flipping good and Hyponik deserve lots of people on their mailing list. Meanwhile, if Aphex Twin doesn't get his shizzle together soon, I'm blowing this theme park sky high.