Aphex Twin interviews are rare beasts, but with Richard D. James about to return with SYRO, his first proper studio album in 13 years, they’re suddenly a little thicker on the ground. Both FADER and Pitchfork have recently spoken with James, and both publications have unveiled a few highlights from their conversations before publishing those interviews. Some highlights: James has a few more albums in the work, he has a ton of older music like Caustic Window waiting around to see release if he can get organized enough to do it, and he’s been enjoying playing small, anonymous DJ gigs lately. The most interesting bit, however, is the part where he talks about Kanye West sampling his piano composition “Avril 14th” for the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy highlight “Blame Game.” Here’s what he says:
Is it a sample? I actually don’t know what it ended up being in the end, I’m so slack. I know that he tried to fucking rip me off and claim that he’d written it, and they tried to get away with not paying. I was really helpful, and when they first sent it to me, I was like, “Oh, I can re-do that for you, if you like,” because they’d sampled it really badly and time-stretched it and there was loads of artifacts. I was like, “I’ll just replay it for you at that speed if you want.” And they totally didn’t even say “hello” or “thanks,” they just replied with, “It’s not yours, it’s ours, and we’re not even asking you any more.” [laughs]
So if Kanye ends up murdered by a mob of demonic children with Richard D. James faces, we’ll now know why. SYRO is out 9/23 on Warp.