Lick It Off: Listen to David Rees’ Aphex Swift album, which is as good as you’d expect


We’re not sure if Richard D. James and Taylor Swift have ever hung out in person together, but they now have a pretty compelling reason to have a conversation.

David Rees, the host of National Geographic’s Going Deep With David Rees and cartoonist of 2000s clip-art comic Get Your War On, has created Aphex Swift, an eight-song mash-up collection that’s just as great as it possibly could be.

“This summer I decided to make an album of Aphex Twin / Taylor Swift mashups,” Rees wrote on his blog, How To Sharpen Pencils. “I am a big fan of both these artists — I think they’ve each written some thrilling pop hooks and their production is amazing. I also just wanted to see if it could be done. (Plus I thought “AphexSwift” passed the threshold of catchy titles for mash-up projects, which is half the battle.)”


He adds: “I actually think Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) and Taylor Swift have a lot in common besides their songwriting talents — or, at least, they each have characteristics more commonly associated with the other.”

Rees says part one of his thesis is that James “is as big a romantic cornball as Taylor Swift.” And later offers: “And so part two of my thesis is: TAYLOR SWIFT IS AS SCARY AS APHEX TWIN.”

The whole breakdown of inspiration is a good read, and a good primer for songs like “Starlightlicker” and “T4ouble.”


The only shame is that the tracks were crafted over the summer, before Rees could dig into anything off 1989 and Syro (in fairness no one saw the latter coming). So there’s no “Shake It Off” vs “minipops 67 [120.2][source Field Mix],” but that just leaves room for a sequel.