A few days ago, FDRMX speculated on a mysterious sightings of the Aphex Twin logo in New York and London, wondering if this meant a new album was coming. Turns out our hunch was correct. Richard D. James just announced SYRO, his first album (under the name of Aphex Twin) since 2001’s Drukqs. In a typically cryptic fashion, James made the announcement through a deep web browser Tor. The first question that comes to mind is, what’s the ‘deep web’? Also known as the “Invisible Web” or the “Hidden Web,” its the content on the internet that’s not indexed by search engines, or part of the so-called “Surface Web.” Tor is a browser that describes itself as “free software and an open network” that defends against against “traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.” It’s a browser that is probably used for the shadier side of internet pursuits. Weird? Yes. But what else could we expect from a mad hatter of the music industry, a man who reportedly drives a tank around for kicks.
This morning, James tweeted a link URL that only works with the Tor browser. The link leads to the image above and what looks like a tracklist (pictured below). This website works on regular browsers, but only lists the title and a coded tracklist.
Aphex Twin is a strange one for sure, and it’s helped make him a very wealthy man. James put out his first record, Analogue Bubblebath in 1991, but has been building synthesizers and writing computer programmes in his bedroom since he was 14. Today, his music, released either on the celebrated Warp label or on his own Rephlex imprint, is used in films and on TV adverts – and the name Aphex Twin is a byword for maverick genius. SYRO will be his first big album in a while. Watch the disturbing classic “Windowlicker” here, a video nominated for the “Best Video” award at the Brit Awards in 2000.