MOMENTS | Mash-up: APHEX SWIFT, The Taylor Swift x Aphex Twin Musical Hybrid By Cartoonist David Rees
We’ve curated the best of digital age-inspired creativity—from user-generated content, mash-ups, and remixes to collaborations between multi-disciplined makers.
Taylor Swift just released 1989, but we would rather talk about cartoonist David Rees’s APHEX SWIFT, an eight-track remix album made by combining the instrumentals of Aphex Twin with the vocals of Taylor Swift. The result is a surprisingly successful and aurally pleasing mash-up of different musical styles.
Known for combining bland clip art with outrageous “trash talk”, Rees is also an, ahem, artisanal pencil sharpener. The man isn’t without a sense of humor, and while creating an Aphex Twin and Taylor Swift remix playlist may seem outrageous, “Avril 14th” and “You Belong With Me” somehow makes all the sense in the world. And Swift’s vocals in “I Knew You Were Trouble” cut through the chaos of Richard D. James’ “4” to create tension in just the right places.
On his inspiration behind the idea, Rees took to Tumblr for his heartfelt explanation: “Taylor Swift made her name by writing big-hearted confessional songs for tween girls. But a lot of Aphex Twin’s music (especially on the Richard D. James album, from which most of these tracks are culled) is also super romantic – saccharine, even. Sometimes I wonder if his impossibly complex, inhuman drum patterns are just serving as a layer of sonic indie-cred…or, on a more personal level, it’s like he’s protecting his bleeding heart behind a crazy tangle of barbed-wire snare rolls…APHEX TWIN IS AS BIG A ROMANTIC CORNBALL AS TAYLOR SWIFT.”
You should definitely read the rest of David Rees’s Tumblr post, but before you do that, listen to APHEX SWIFT.