Culture

Delight at revelation Welsh climate change minister’s brother is Aphex Twin

04 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Richard D James aka Aphex Twin

David Owens

File under facts you never expected to discover via Twitter.

In amongst the bickering, the insults and genius memes, you’ll occasionally unearth a gem of information.

Thankfully, today was one of those golden days.

When renowned (and factually reliable) Welsh historian Martin Johnes alerted us to the sort of off kilter tale we love, we had to look into it.

And yes it appeared it was true – Welsh climate change minister, Julies James’ brother is in fact techno shapeshifter and all round electronic music envelope pusher, Aphex Twin.

This eye-opening piece of information was revealed in a most excellent interview between the Swansea West MS and the BBC Wales Walescast podcast

Although as was also pointed out in a tweet, respect to veteran political journalist Vaughan Roderick for breaking this exclusive a mere 10 years ago.

Richard D James, better known for his stage name – Aphex Twin – is renowned for his preternatural musical abilities and as a result has been dubbed ‘the Mozart of techno’.

Whether Julie is a fan of her brother’s genre-shifting sounds, the MS informed the podcast: “Very much. Not all of it. Some of it’s, I think Charlie Brooker once said, it was like being inside a CT scanner for an hour.

“But some of it is glorious. He writes beautiful jazz. He did a collaboration with Phillip Glass, which is glorious, and a lot of his ambient stuff is lovely.”

We also learned that when Carwyn Jones stood down as First Minister in December 2018, members of the Welsh government’s cabinet gave him a vinyl record as a leaving gift, with Julie handing him a copy of her brother’s Collapse EP.

Julie James – Member of the Senedd for Swansea West, Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change

As for whether she believes the former FM listens to it all the time? “Oh, I’m sure,” she replied, tongue firmly in cheek.

Julie was born in Swansea to Welsh parents, but the family moved around a lot and her younger brother – by some 13 years – was born in Limerick and raised in Cornwall, so whether he wears a dragon on his sleeve like his sister remains to be seen.

Welsh identity

It’s not often I contact the Welsh government press office to ask them whether a globally famous electronic musician identifies as Welsh, or which side he would support if Wales played England in rugby, but such a request is now in some poor unfortunate PR officer’s email inbox.

Unsurprisingly, I have yet to receive a response.

Tomorrow – Mark Drakeford is unmasked as one-half of Daft Punk.

Well, we can but dream.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago

Richard James claims he got into electronic music as a rebellion against his sister constantly playing Jesus And Mary Chain albums but he is notorious for making outrageous and completely bogus claims.
If it runs in families she too could well be making it up.

Glen
Glen
2 months ago

It’s obvious who the talented one is in that family.

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
2 months ago

Wikipedia refers to him as, amongst other things, an English record producer…and from Ireland…no mention (at the bottom) of being Welsh. Although it does reference his relationship to the Climate Change Minister.

I guess its how he see’s himself that matters at the end of the day.

Derek
Derek
2 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd Evans

Wikipedia isn’t admissible as an academic source, mind…

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
2 months ago
Reply to  Derek

true – be nice if he could comment on it here.

Dafydd
Dafydd
2 months ago

“Come to daddy”

Penderyn
Penderyn
2 months ago

Aphex Twin is on record as being a bit of a Cornish nationalist…… love it…..

Sadly his relative is more a cap doffing English nash type…..but you cant win them all

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
2 months ago
Reply to  Penderyn

Cornish Nationalist – respect!

Christopher
Christopher
2 months ago

Tomorrow – Mark Drakeford is unmasked as one-half of Daft Punk.

😂

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