Aphex Twin – asiatsana [live]


It’s been an amazing week for Aphex Twin fans and everyone else with open ears. Still digesting Syro, I feel compelled to share this clip. It features a piano on a swing.

Asiatsana, rendered on prepared piano, sends the listener off on glistening waves of heartbreaking beauty. This spare sound echoes around chirping birds in an ancient, solitary space that Richard D. James gently inhabits on rare occasion (see also: Avril 14th or Jynweythek Ylow).

There are a couple interesting things to note about this tune. First, the name is his wife’s – Anastasia -rendered backwards. That’s easy enough. Secondly, “prepared” simply means that something has been done to a piano to create specific, idiosyncratic sounds for a given piece of music. Sometimes objects are placed on the hammers to mute or otherwise modify their tone. In this case, RDJ has swung a piano on a giant harness to bend pitch via the Doppler effect. It’s gorgeous. It’s over the top. It’s perfect, as far as I’m concerned.

This is a somewhat recent photo of Richard, looking far less crazy than I’m used to. I’m not worried about him going boring, though. I’m sure he’s still got tits and a satanic grimace on the inside!

Remember, you can buy Syro from Warp and probably everywhere else on the internet. Just listen to it. New Aphex Twin music exists!

2 thoughts on “Aphex Twin – asiatsana [live]

  1. Chills, man. His soft stuff is some of my favorite of all time, it’s so close and personal and so memorable because it’s so unlike him to not be shredding your ear holes.

    One of my favorites is on Druqks, Lornaderek–the voicemail from his parents singing him Happy Birthday. It’s such an intimate glance into his life, and it never fails to make me smile because it’s just plainly adorable.

    Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s exactly how I feel about these rare quiet moments. I can’t help but break into a huge grin every time I hear Lornaderek, especially as it comes between peaks of rapid fire noise & beats.

      Thank you for sharing.


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