After a day out to concentrate on other writing deadlines and to consider whether I preferred the Muppet movie or the Shakespeare play I saw at the weekend (answer: Muppets were better), it's time once more to wind-up the clockwork innards of Bleep Years...
1997: Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy
Aphex Twin rose to gurning prominence with the armchair techno album Selected Ambient Works 85-92, on a record label (R&S) that was cooler than polar bear's ice pop thanks to their support for the likes of Future Sound Of London and CJ Bolland.
Mr Twin experimented with demonic dancing bears, stop-motion Jarvis Cocker animation and bringing the didgeridoo to the dancefloor. But it was the Chris Cunningham-directed video for Come To Daddy that put Aphex Twin on the very urban, very decayed map. The highlight was a creature screaming the blue rinse out of an elderly lady (Coral Lorne, who went on to play Old Lady Who Gets Thrown Out Of Social Benefit Office in Spaced).
Britannia became cool in 1997, but my own world was shattered from the death of my father at the end of the previous year. My newly orphaned ears picked up every musical nuance in 1997, and it is the one year in which I remember the most music, owned the most CDs, and learned the most lyrics. I dealt with my grief by surfing on sine waves all year long.
For some, Come To Daddy is a brutal horror only eclipsed by the eye-popping Windowlicker two years later. For me, it is the ultimate Aphex moment: the perfect match of comedy, terror and very nasty beats. This song was also me being angry at losing my father, even though it took me years to twig the irony in the title.