Those were among the thoughts I posted on Twitter this evening after the announcement that Syro had won the award for best album in the Dance/Electronica category. Syro was released last fall, after a 13-year gap since the album Drukqs. The award was given out in the pre-show Grammy ceremony, and this video snippet of the moment was uploaded shortly thereafter to YouTube:
So much anticlimax is packed into that moment, from the semi-anonymous nature of those non-show categories, to the mispronunciation of the name Aphex Twin. What stands out is the Hollywood wallpaper music that fades in after the announcement is made, this sad, out-of-place cocktail-party piano. It seems especially, unwittingly ironic given the centrality of piano to some of Aphex Twin’s own recording, including the closing track to Syro.
I mentioned on Twitter, where there was quite a bit of fun back’n’forth — including noting that music by Harry Partch, a fine precursor to Richard D. James in the field of making one’s own instruments, also won an award this evening — that I wanted nothing so much as to hear Aphex Twin snatch that bit of cocktail piano and remix it.
Ask, and, thanks to the Internet, you sometimes receive. Of course, Aphex Twin himself didn’t do the remixing, but Lee Rosevere of Vancouver, Canada, did a great job of it, breaking the source audio into pieces, layering it to stuttered and melodramatic effect, and doing a Max Headroom with the announcement itself:
Update (2015.02.09): Peculiarly, this alternate upload (found thanks to Eric Legendre) of the award announcement has no cocktail piano, but does feature some weird warped vocals and what appears to be an acceptance acknowledgement: