Aphex Twin Lightens Up With Latest Video

Techno artist keeps low profile at party to premiere clip for 'Windowlicker.'

LONDON -- Fans of maverick techno artist Aphex Twin came from as far away

as Finland to see the premiere of his "Windowlicker" video -- and hear the song for the

first time -- in a West End bar Thursday night.

And they weren't even guaranteed a chance of seeing Aphex Twin (a.k.a. Richard

James) himself. In fact, it's unlikely any did.

He was scheduled to play a late-night set, but as of midnight was nowhere in sight. All

the night's DJs, including Plastikman, were hidden behind the large screen on which the

video was projected.

But that was OK with Alex Lambley, 25, who came to the premiere. "It's one of the best

videos I've ever seen," she said.

Chris Cunningham, who directed Aphex Twin's videos (he also did Madonna's

"Frozen"), said he deliberately gave "Windowlicker" a lighter tone than the video for the

artist's "Come to Daddy" (RealAudio

excerpt). This one, which Cunningham said he shot in Miami for about $200,000,

features a host of swimsuit-clad women with Aphex Twin faces and a dance routine with

Aphex Twin umbrellas.

"It was just like an attempt to make something that was the opposite [of 'Come to

Daddy']," Cunningham said. He joked that its main theme is "birds with beards."

The "Windowlicker" single is due March 22 in the U.K. on Warp Records. There's no

release date yet for the video. A spokesperson at Aphex Twin's U.S. label, Sire, couldn't

be reached Friday (Feb. 12) for information on a U.S. release.

Large lines formed outside the building all evening for the chance to see the follup-up to a video

that featured a horde of rampaging children with Aphex Twin faces terrorizing a

housing estate.

Once inside, the packed crowd roared with laughter at the video's first screening, during

which the Aphex Twin was said to be stationed somewhere behind the screen.

For three hours after the first screening, Plastikman (born Richie Hawtin) mixed

hard-techno songs with '70s and '80s pop tunes, including Roxy Music's "Angel Eyes,"

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love."

Then the video was shown again, at 11:30 p.m., and the response was even better, with

the alcoholically refreshed crowd sitting on the dance floor and laughing in fits.

Most of the audience was male, which perplexed Kate Hutchins, 30, a marketing

manager.

"I love this sort of music, but what is it about this sort of thing that just attracts boys?" she

asked. "I don't understand."