Music writer Jon Doran delves into the mysterious life of Richard D James in a new BBC Radio 4 documentary.
Entitled The Cult of Aphex Twin, the documentary aired this week on 3 July. Featuring interview material of the pioneering artist early on in his career, the documentary includes an audio clip from 1994 of James discussing how lucid dreaming forms a part of his creative process. Describing the ability to manipulate his dreams as a “precious thing”, the IDM innovator says, “I’ve done everything that you can do – talking and shagging. I often throw myself off cliffs and skyscrapers.”
He continues, “And then a year and a half ago, I thought I badly want to dream tracks. Imagine I’m in the studio, write a track in my sleep, wake up and then write it in the real world.”
Describing James’ decade-spanning career as a “product of the Cornish myth-making tradition”, Doran explores the many myths of the elusive artist, such as the rumours of him owning a bank, a submarine and driving around Cornwall in a tank. Doran also speculates over whether the artist, himself, walks among fans and contributes to the cycle of rumours.
Contributors to the radio documentary include writer and musician David Toop, Frank Ocean collaborator Vegyn, Vic Reeves and more. Listen to the BBC Radio 4 documentary here.