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Date TimeSeptember 15, 2019
VoicePrintworks, LondonThe electronic music legend melted genres at breakneck speed in this peerless ambient-to-hardcore festival outing – to the delight of a young crowd
Aphex Twin review – wild lights, jungle buzzsaw and a boo for Boris
When Printworks opened to much hurrah two years ago, it did so during a run of venue closures in London. It’s aesthetically impressive and has quickly become one of the best venues for large-scale electronic events, and so is ripe for an Aphex Twin brain-tickle – even if free earplugs, sadly, aren’t on offer. Although the musician has never relied on album cycles to draw in new audiences, it is striking how young the audience winding through Printworks is.
As well as releasing around a dozen EPs in the past decade on his own label, Rephlex, and Warp, there was mass excitement about Richard David James’s “return” as an album artist in 2014, with the Grammy award-winning Syro – and the memorable flight of a neon-green blimp bearing the Aphex Twin logo over London. Along with the weight of his back catalogue and mythical status, what makes shows such as these sell out in minutes is Aphex Twin’s love of spectacle and keen support for new electronic artists. The former is a perfect fit for this, the Red Bull music festival’s high concept (and budget). In terms of the latter, he’s viewed as a switched-on father figure to younger artists and fans, his hybrid set blending new club tracks with live modular jams, his own music, and ripe selections of 90s UK hardcore.

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