The Aphex Twin - Come To Daddy
Rarely have a video and a song been so well connected as with The Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy. Listening to the song on this EP, it's impossible not to see the freaky little kids terrorising a council estate mid-afternoon, each one leering out from bowl-cuts and pigtails with Richard D. James' grinning face. Just less than two minutes into the song, when the distorted bass line drops back and something howls out of the mix, what comes to mind is a naked, seven-foot-tall man-child bellowing into the face of an old woman, whose cheeks ripple with the force of the noise.
Both song and video are unforgettable and despite the former being available in a few places, this mini-album allows the fury of the title track to be stripped out across two remixes to show there's a bit more to Come To Daddy than weird kids, although there's quite enough of them too.
With The Aphex Twin, you can never be entirely sure what's being listened to is serious or not. Some have suggested that Come To Daddy is little more than a spoof on the riffing of The Prodigy but such is the reputation that surrounds The Aphex Twin that there are those who suggest that nothing he does is to be taken seriously. Frankly, we're not talking Weird Al Yankovic and if this is a joke, it's lost on me.
Instead, Come To Daddy is a frenzied assault of constantly shifting beats, an aggressively distorted bass line, James' own words - three phrases are all that are ever said: "I want your soul, I will eat your soul...Come to daddy" - and the push and pull of digital delay effects that are used to stretch and fold the music. It's a bizarre and brutal song, yet utterly fantastic. Before Come To Daddy, tracks like Firestarter and Poison by The Prodigy or Bug Powder Dust by Bomb The Bass would have been considered aggressive but Come To Daddy strips them to their bones such that it's difficult to imagine any music being more punishing than this, other than a recording of a pneumatic drill, yet the song is never without appeal.
This mini-album also includes two remixes of the title song - Little Lord Faulteroy Mix, which features a child's voice singing about 'daddy's little boy' and Mummy Mix - both of which remove the more brutal layers in the song to reveal the skittering patterns within the rhythm. Similarly, Bucephalus Bouncing Ball is like a mutiny in a bottling plant over which the sound bounces and springs. Much better, though, than these is Flim, which, if not tender, reveals the delicate, ambient music that Richard James first became known for.
Whichever way you take him, Come To Daddy is an incredible song and stands out every time. It still sounds like an industrial accident but that's no criticism and, if you're up to it, this is as great an example of granite-hard dance music as Nation's recent compilation, Global Pressure, Bug Powder Dust or Poison.
Finally, it's not often that the packaging stands out but anything by The Designer's Republic warrants a mention. With their customary mix of call-outs, explanatory text and bizarre explanations - some day everything will be designed by The Designer's Republic.