No More Nails

Our resident columnist is back from his stint at the Edinburgh Festival. We reckon you ought to be seeing him on ‘Mock The Week’ any day now. In the meantime, he’s demanding a pay rise and going on about Aphex Twin again

Aphex Twin turns off his Casio synthesiser. The display blanks out with a click. He powers down his Nokia. He pulls the plug on his PC. Light switch by light switch, he envelops the room in darkness. He checks that the curtains are closed tight.

In the quiet murk, Aphex Twin thinks of the 92nd floor of the Warp Records offices, where suited execs run bejewelled fingers through their expensive toupees. “Where’s the Twin?” they shout, chomping down hard on their cigars. “We can’t make our millions without the Twin.” Their tears waterfall into their jacuzzis.

Aphex Twin grimaces. He’ll show them. They’ve profited from his music long enough. If he hides, their empire will crumble and they will be forced to beg on vomit-stained pavements as commuters walk by, lost in headphoned Spotify. Aphex Twin’s face spreads into a satisfied leer.

The months pass. Hiding Aphex Twin lives off spiders and dust. Sitting in the gloom, a new melody sometimes enters his head. Sometimes it’s a fragment of a rhythm section. He pours glue into his ears to prevent the ideas getting in. He seals his mouth with No More Nails. He stuffs Blu-Tack up his nostrils and up his butt. Hiding Aphex Twin imagines himself as a distant island in a raging sea. An undetected country at the end of time. He lets the solitude enclose him. A cocoon of silence. And yet the ideas keep coming.

Ten years pass. The seasons rise and fall.

Hiding Aphex Twin is still in his room, wide-eyed and a little mad. His mouth sealant is cracked. Sweat pours off his shaking body. And the ideas still keep coming.

Hiding Aphex Twin tries to picture the record execs, but their faces are long forgotten. His mind races with drum fills and frequencies and filters. He mumbles something angry, writhes in desperation. In the darkened room amid piles of unplugged samplers, something snaps inside Hiding Aphex Twin.

The adhesive substances rupture in his gummy orifices and a torrent of music tsunamis out of him. It fills the room and bursts into blinding light. Beats and melodies stream from his mouth as dirty glitter and sparkles. Mathematical equations flow from his ears. From his eyes, tiny teddy bears cascade down his astonished face. Every Aphexian idea from the past decade gushes from his shuddering, exploding body.

And somewhere far from here, in a jacuzzi filled with £100 notes, a gold-chained, cigar-chomping record exec cackles – and announces the return of the Twin on the Warp Records website.

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