Aphex Twin & u-Ziq – ‘Expert Knob Twiddlers’

mike-and-rich-albumMike & Rich is a collaboration between Aphex Twin (Richard D. James) and µ–Ziq (Mike Paradinas),

Mike & Rich – Expert Knob Twiddlers was made back in 1994. James edited the tracks into shape later in 1996 with his new Apple Mac computer and it was released later that year on Rephlex, the label he co-owned and which released the first two albums by µ-Ziq.

Here’s what the label has to say about the album:

The album was recorded over a few days during the 1994 World Cup, back when Richard lived in a big shared flat in Stoke Newington. Richard had tried to collaborate with a few other likeminded artists but something clicked when Mike and Rich worked together and the sessions have a unique feel; playful and at times actually drunk. These are fun experiments in the spirit of lighthearted moog pop and ripe 70s British TV themes, standing out from the po-faced electronica of the time with a garish glee.

The record was made on what is now seen as pretty primitive gear – an Atari, Roland MKS-80, Memorymoog, Roland R8 and a handful of samples on a Casio FZ-10M – but it’s to their credit that it resonates well with the hardware workouts coming out today. There’s a broadminded but sloppy funk to the record, even whistling, singing and harpsichord in ‘Reg’ and wonky beat pile-ons in ‘Jelly Fish’. There’s latin piano and wheezy drunken techno in ‘Vodka’, or the sleepy spaced out ambience of ‘Bu Bu Bu Ba’ with its barely contained laughter which seems to reflect the absurdity.

This new reissued version has been cleaned up, re-edited and remastered from the original DAT tapes, put into a more fitting order and, also features seven new tracks and alternate versions.

You can preview Expert Knob Twiddlers below:

Expert Knob Twiddlers is available to pre-order.

6 thoughts on “Aphex Twin & u-Ziq – ‘Expert Knob Twiddlers’

  1. Sorry to be a bit of a damper but I didn’t think Expert Knob Twiddlers was that good. And I used to own this on vinyl. Aphex is better on his own, so is Paradinas.

  2. This album is indeed a legendary classic!!! I first heard it a year or so after it came out in ’96 (having been a fan of both Aphex and u-Ziq by then), I was blown away and extremely amused and entertained by their musical collaboration–I instantly liked it!!!! I still have a dub of it on MiniDisc from a friend’s CD copy of the original release–just popped it in and giving it a listen now :).

    A really fun album to listen to!

  3. Must give this a listen too. as well back in the day , I had an Atari and Casio FZ1 sampler keyboard.Looking back making music then with this kit ( pre- You Tube,Pre public Internet ..etc) having to read very thick paper manuals,not to mention having spent a severe percentage of your yearly income on the stuff….its not surprizing sanity becomes compromised.in the case of the FZ-1 and Atari , I remember them as not so much as Knob twiddling more like hunting obscure hidden menus and single value increment value entry. Yes Single Increment value entry its something that people of my generation just want to forget …Hoping listening to this will not trigger a relapse.

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