Aphex Twin is not usually one for the media, in fact i forget the last interview i saw from him to be quite honest. However, he is definitely one for surprises, and we just got a doozy.
The English producer has shared a brand new track titled 'korg funk 5', made using KORG's Monologue and a string of other KORG gadgets. The song was made in collaboration with ex. KORG engineer Tatsuya Takahashi, who engaged in an interview with Richard that has just been published.
The interviews sees RDJ and Tatsuya get deep into tech-talk, touching on the features of the synth and what it was like to use.
Read the interview in full below, or on the Warp Records website, and give 'korg funk 5' a listen.
RICHARD D. JAMES: I really enjoyed working on this with you. I know I only joined the project near the end, but I found it really exciting. Like a proper job, ha.
TATSUYA TAKAHASHI: Richard, it was amazing working with you on the monologue. And now to be interviewed by you?!? That's crazy. But also a lot of fun. The monologue was also the last Korg synth that I was involved with directly, so I guess it's a nice conclusion to things.
RDJ: It is now the only synth on the market currently being made to have full microtuning editing, congratulations!
TT: Thanks! But it was completely because of you that we included microtuning. If you hadn't insisted on it, I definitely wouldn't have discovered how powerful it was. Did you ever have a moment of realisation, or some kind of trigger that made you discover microtuning?
RDJ: The first thoughts that I had about tuning in general happened with my early noodlings on a Yamaha DX100, one of the first synths I saved up for. I remember looking at the master tuning of 440 Hz and thinking I would change it, for no other reason apart from it was set by default to that frequency and that it could be changed.
I just used to select a single note, adjust the master tuning of it to taste and then base the whole track around that, something I’ve done ever since, just intuition and maybe a bit of rebelliousness. It’s very simple, but do you want your music to be based on an international standard or on what you think sounds right to you?
I’ve since gone on to learn more about this damn 440 Hz. It was a standard introduced in 1939 by western governments, so I’m very glad I trusted my instincts. Listening to that other voice is THE most important thing in creativity, whether you’re an engineer or a musician. Tesla had some important advice on listening to the thoughts from the other. One of the most important inventors ever, but we’re not taught about him in British schools. Funny that.
TT: I don't know why it's thin on the curriculum, but the Tesla coil is definitely amazing. If you modulate the high frequency with audio signals you can play music with plasma – that's super cool. I will read up on him though, cos I don't know much about his life and thinking.
RDJ: An interesting “note”: I’ve just been reading a book on electronic instruments published in the 1940’s and it says that 440 Hz was transmitted over the radio on different frequencies 24 hours a day and others between midnight and 2 in the afternoon, ha, so you could tune your instruments and be well behaved or calibrate your lab equipment to it.