YXBoZXh0d2lu coincides with the release of Aphex Twin’s latest EP, Blackbox Life Recorder 21f / in a room7 F760.
When Aphex Twin first achieved international stardom in the early ’90s, his music sounded like nothing else out there. The Irish-British music producer has continued to push art and creativity forward, most recently with an augmented reality (AR) app called YXBoZXh0d2lu.
Aphex Twin (real name Richard James) released the app to coincide with his latest EP, Black Box Life Recorder 21f / in a room7 F760. Released earlier in August via Warp Records, the effort marks James’ first record in five years. YXBoZXh0d2lu, which translates to “aphextwin” when decoded from Base64 binary-to-text encoding schemes, allows the user to scan the physical album artwork for the record using their device’s camera. It then superimposes interactive 3D visual animations designed by James’ longtime collaborator Weirdcore on the resulting video playback.
Created by Tokyo firm KALKUL, the app first made its debut at Aphex Twin appearances in early June, where attendees could enter art installations and discover details of the EP. An unreleased version of the lead single titled “Blackbox Life Recorder 20 Ambient 760” was also hidden in Base64 code in an AR piece that appeared at Sónar Barcelona.
Born in Limerick, Ireland and raised in Cornwall, England, Richard James began DJing at free parties during the UK’s late ’80s acid house explosion. His first recorded music release as Aphex Twin was 1991’s Analogue Bubblebath on Mighty Force, not to be outshone by his highly influential debut studio-length album, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 of the following year.
Aphex Twin is cited as inspiration by a range of music acts wide enough to include Daft Punk, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Limp Bizkit. Articles in the The New York Times, The Guardian, and Mixmag have declared him one of the most influential electronic musicians today.