Aphex Twin Makes New Track With All Korg Rig

Korg today shared a new Aphex Twin (Richard D. James) track, korg funk 5, created using an all-Korg setup.

The track features:

  • Korg Monologue x3
  • Korg MS-20 kit
  • Korg Poly-61M
  • Korg Volca keys
  • Korg Volca beats
  • Korg Volca sample
  • Korg Minilogue
  • James’ son on vox

Warp also published an interesting new interview by James with former Korg synth designer Tatsuya ‘Tats’ Takahashi.

49 thoughts on “Aphex Twin Makes New Track With All Korg Rig

    1. You should probably read the interview.

      “RDJ: That’s so nice to hear… It was really top making some tracks with only Korg gear. I’m a secret nerd-fan of synth demos, mainly vintage ’80s ones currently! Some amazing music has been made as equipment demos, unsung heroes. I collect synth demos. Well, ones that I like. It’s kind of an unclassified music genre, so doing these tracks for you and Korg was a natural thing for me. I also really like picking certain combinations of gear. That is endlessly fascinating.”

      If you read it, you will get a sense of the warmth between the two of them and the “for you” part in the quote above will really stand out. Tats worked on almost the entire gear list.

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      1. yeah – i mean he worked with korg on the monologue – when it came out they said he designed some of the patches and collaborated on the microtunings. still not a fan of the beats though, he should have used an e2 for the drums

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  1. What a great interview/conversation.

    Lots of interesting, thoughtful stuff but I’m gonna quote a more seemingly mundane bit. RDJ asked for “keyboard to alphabet mapping for program name edit”. My heart went aflutter! It’s a weird thing: after you use a device that supports this, it’s maddening to enter a program name on anything else.

    Especially with a company like Korg, that seems like a ‘write once, use everywhere’ sort of investment.

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      1. Woa! Think that’s the oldest example I’ve ever heard of. Sad to hear that’s your favorite thing about the synth though. 😉

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        1. The truly sad part is that I can’t even use this feature because I removed the time bomb of a battery and have yet to replace so patches are fleeting. Saying that this is my favorite part is partially a joke but I whole heartedly agree with you that this is a feature that should be more prevalent. Here’s one example of why the 240 seems awesome but is a let down and is related to the tuning aspect of this article… the second oscillator’s coarse tune moves in quarter tones which is amazing but… IT’S LEVEL IS STATIC?

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    1. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, here’s one way it works (differs per implementation but all the ones I’ve encountered work something like this):

      Starting from the second or third key on the keybed, each note on the keyboard represents an ASCI character, a-z. Hit the key once for Uppercase, twice for lowercase, again for upper, etc. The first key is next, the second key is backspace/delete. Some key(s) towards the end scrolls through special characters on each press.

      I think it was a General Music Equinox I first found this. It was 5 octaves so it used only white keys for A-Z/a-z and black keys for ‘editing’ (next, backspace, space, etc) and special characters. Initially you’re just hunting and pecking but you’d probably be surprised how quickly it becomes second nature—we’re keyboardists after all. You hit a key ‘in the neighborhood’ and then use your subconscious understanding of intervals to refine it. Very fast. The, ahem, ‘key’ to this is the ‘next’ key being in a really obvious location—you hit the other keys until you find the character you want but the cursor doesn’t move until you tell it to.

      It’s like FDR:Trump as compared to using a single knob to scroll through 26 CAPS, 26 lower case, umpteen special characters. All of my presets on instruments that don’t support this are usually some version of ‘ag24 hpq’. 🙂

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      1. Wow. I really appreciate this extremely informative explanation. I wish more companies would use this method of character entry.

        +Rep

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    1. Nope. And if Aphex Twin requested it directly and it’s not on there, I wouldn’t be hopeful. 😉

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  2. cool to hear a pro/legend do a track on mostly affordable/basic analog gear. Check out The Tuss and Analord for some of the best analog gear made tracks!

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  3. Sounds like a track Richard Barbieri may have started, then realizing it was shit, immediately abandoned.

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  4. TBH: when he was jokingly endorsing that dodgy discontinued Cheetah module the result sounded much better. The fact that he created better material with that doorstop of a synth than on a shitload of Korg stuff doesn’t quite send the intended reassuring marketing message Korg intended 🙂

    I’m not accusing the man of selling out. Brand representation is one of those things artists actually earn a living with these days. But RDJ appearing in commercials for, say, Marmite, Play Doh or Heinz Spaghetti Hoops would be more in character 😀

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    1. It’s my understanding that the Cheetah M6 was a badass synth, much like the Oberheim Matrix 6 and 1000. Same Curtis chips for each of the 6 voices as the Oberhiems. In a one unit rack enclosure just like the OB m 1k, but fully editable. Now I love my OB m1k, but I would trade it for a Cheetah M6 any day.

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      1. The Cheetah is a badass synth, just notoriously difficult to program.

        That was the whole point of the Cheetah album, to show off that it could be programmed well if an artist stuck with it.

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        1. If you read the interview linked above, you’d see that RDJ “contacted around 50 different people/companies in the last ten years” trying to get them to institute microtuning capabilities in their hardware. Presumably, Korg had open ears and invited him to collaborate. RDJ basically disappeared for 10+ years and then showed back up and gave away hundreds of tracks. I’m pretty sure he’s not involved with Korg because he needs the money. He might DJ at huge festivals for the checks, but when it comes to hardware, I believe his heart is really in it.

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  5. Interesting chat and probably wouldn’t say no to a Monologue.

    Aphex’s son sounds posh though! ‘Monologue’ like some Little Lord Fauntleroy

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  6. I saw nothing, nor heard anything that made me angry with this super piece of creative venturing. If it’s ok to post this upbeat comment on Synthopia(?) Possibly there is too much American/Anglo Saxon, lesser spirituality aware-angst, influencing the forums these days. Let’s see…

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    1. Hahaha. Does Synthtopia advertise itself on some obscure network of complainer’s sites? Always something. It was a text chat between the two of them (sending each other lists and links…). Would have been compelling video of them typing at a keyboard.

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    1. It must be. It sounds out of tune to me, but I guess I have just been brainwashed by Nazis into allowing 440Hz to be the cause of all of the problems in my life.

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