After 25 years at the forefront of electronic music, with so many releases behind him, Aphex Twin’s back catalog is seriously vast. But what are his greatest deep cuts? John Twells weaves together a patchwork of legendary producer Richard D. James’ very best hidden gems.

Let’s be honest for a second – labeling artists as “mysterious” is usually lazy. It’s a journalistic trick that makes (usually male) producers seem far more interesting than they actually are. Most of the time, the biggest mystery is that the “shadowy” artist in question is simply not that interesting. But there are always exceptions, and bearded Cornish enigma Richard D. James is one such exception.

The tank-driving, bank-vault-living, sandpaper-DJing grinning ginger prankster has long traded in misinformation, whether that’s appearing under a litany of pseudonyms (from Phonic Boy On Dope to Brian and Karen Tregaskin) or simply dumping hundreds of tracks on SoundCloud completely unexpectedly. Each nugget of truth is usually balanced by a few carefully-placed red herrings, which leaves his discography often shadowed in mystery.

For every ‘Windowlicker’, ‘Xtal’ or ‘Come To Daddy’, there are a dozen lesser-known gems that hit just as hard, so FACT’s very own John Twells – a confirmed AFX addict since first gripping Selected Ambient Works 85–92 in the mid-90s – has gone through the archives (ignoring the well-thumbed and all-too-recent SoundCloud dump) to rustle up a mix of deep cuts that deserve a bit more attention.

Tracklist:

01. Power-Pill – ‘Pac-Man (Ghost Mix)’
02. The Tuss – ‘Alspacka’
03. Q-Chastic – ‘CAT 002’
04. Bradley Strider – ‘Untitled’
05. AFX – ‘umil 25-01’
06. AFX – ‘R2D2’
07. Universal Indicator – ‘Thoughts of You’
08. Polygon Window – ‘Iketa’
09. Caustic Window – ‘Pop Corn’
10. AFX – ‘Naks 11 [Mono]’
11. Aphex Twin – ‘Aphex Airlines’
12. Aphex Twin – ‘Untitled’ (from Melodies From Mars)
13. AFX – ‘Laricheard’
14. AFX – ‘Untitled’ (from Analogue Bubblebath 5)
15. Polygon Window – ‘Portreath Harbour’
16. GAK – ‘GAK 4’
17. AFX – ‘Untitled’ (from Analogue Bubblebath 5)
18. Aphex Twin / Gavin Bryars – ‘Raising The Titanic (Mix)’
19. Aphex Twin – ‘KTPA1’

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