Not a Love Song

Come to Daddy – Aphex Twin from Come To Daddy EP

This is an ugly song.  But that does not mean it can’t be a great piece of music.  This song creates a palpable feel like many other great songs, it’s just that the emotion it creates is dread.  If I was going to soundtrack a horrific incident in my life, this would probably be the song.  Starting with the packaging of the EP (at left), featuring pictures of Richard James (the real identity of Aphex Twin) pasted on the bodies of children, there is something unsettling about Come To Daddy.  The song is unhinged from the beginning, with a guttural guitar riff and a voice hissing “i want your soul / i will eat your soul.”  In the background short blips of sound enter the mix.  A jungle-style drumbeat works its way in.  By the time you get to the first “chorus” consisting of various inflected versions of the phrase “come to daddy” you’re metaphorically battered.  It keeps getting louder and more sound effects bounce around until there is a slight pause from the guitar riff as the maniacal drums take center stage before giving way again to the guitar, this time louder and harder than ever.  A howling voice drops over it, fades out, and we’re back to the drum and guitar, before a final barrage of sound blasts shoot back and forth across the mix.

One write-up I read online suggested that this was James’ sly sendup of Prodigy’s Firestarter.  I don’t see that at all, though Come to Daddy is a pretty big departure from a lot of James’ work, which can often be quite sweet, a hard feat to do when dabbling in drum n’ bass and the like.  While songs like Firestarter and things by bands like KMFDM and Ministry (all of which I like) have the veneer of edgy and scary music, James’ Come to Daddy is the real thing to the core.

Here is the disturbing video for the song, which adds a little bit of pre-song acoustics and a mid-song interlude not part of the original song (which begins at 1:20):

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3 Responses to “Not a Love Song”

  1. Geoff Says:

    Aphex Twin is awesome. I hadn’t ever heard anyone else talk about it other than my brother and I. It’s good to know the exist more than in our worlds.

  2. lilcog Says:

    Allow the video geek to weigh in…LOVED IT! The visuals were amazing as well as the disturbing message coming from the television and the affect it had.
    I loved the end with the pixelation and mix of color bars…made the song work. Without the video I probably would have hated it, with it…at least one thumb up!
    Leave it to Q to introduce me to yet more music I never would have heard.

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