Music Video Vault: Aphex Twin "Come to Daddy"

In recent years since the introduction of the reality TV era, music videos have become somewhat of a lost art form, taking a backseat to brain cell-massacring programs like 18 & Pregnant, Date My Mom and Jersey Shore.  MTV (which stands for "Music Television," in case you've forgotten) used to be a breeding ground for artists to reacher wider audiences, using videos to not only get their songs heard, but to instill imagery in their viewers' minds that often stuck with them throughout their lives.  Additionally, many of today's most celebrated filmmakers began their careers directing music videos, such as David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network), Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind, The Science Of Sleep) and Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation.).  Welcome to the first installment of PixelatedPop's Music Video Vault, a column honoring and discussing some of the most memorable music videos of all time.


The Artist

Having been spoon-fed a steady diet of classic rock during my early years, it wasn't until my teenaged ones that my ears became more responsive to newer, more unorthodox forms of music.  The familiar guitar / bass / drum anthems of the 70s and 80s passed down to me from my parents slowly faded into the background as less traditional-sounding tunes started creeping their way onto my Winamp playlist.  While jamming to a greatest hits collection by The Cars or Tom Petty, it never occurred to me that some music would one day be composed entirely on computers.

Richard David James, better known by his pseudonym Aphex Twin, reigns as "the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music."  That's according to the British daily newspaper The Guardian, an opinion that is rarely contradicted in the music industry.  James carries three decades of computer-based composing under his belt, twisting automated bleeps and bloops into infinite combinations of electronic fascination since the vernal age of 12.  The man pioneered the category known as braindance, which, in James's words, can only be described as "the genre that encompasses the best elements of all genres, e.g. traditional, classical, electronic music, popular, modern, industrial, ambient, hip-hop, electro, house, techno, breakbeat, hardcore, ragga, garage, drum and bass, etc."  Incorporating literally every classification of music will allow James to continue to manipulate his sound into endless amalgamations for years to come.


The Song

Aphex Twin's mainstream acknowledgment coincided with the release of his 1996 album entitled Richard D. James Album, as well as the 1997 EP Come to Daddy.  The latter included three different versions of the title track with "Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix)" becoming one of James's most commemorated songs to date.  James hardly considers this his best work, regardless of its success, saying, "'Come to Daddy' came about while I was just hanging around my house, getting pissed and doing this crappy death metal jingle.  Then it got marketed and a video was made, and this little idea that I had, which was a joke, turned into something huge."  Humble words from a man who orchestrated six of the most terrifying minutes in music video history...

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