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ICYMI | Aphex Twin’s 1st Video In 17 Years

12 year old YouTube auteur is the story of the influential DJ's new Cheetah EP.

Patrick Greenby Patrick Green
Photo: Kristy Sparow (Getty Images).

Who said electronic music has no heart? Aphex Twin, who once accused Kanye of stealing his musicjust dropped his new EP, Cheetah, on July 8. The seven-song album (stream it here) is a glitchy, woozy, slowed down ride across a BPM plane that shows that the pioneering Irish electronic DJ/producer still has some gas in the tank, but the Cheetah story that’s been making online noise has been Ryan Wyer. The 12-year-old from Dublin, Ireland was handpicked by Aphex Twin (aka Richard D. James) and his label Warp Records to direct the official video for ‘CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ] after seeing Wyer’s fan-made videos on his YouTube channel for ‘minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]’ and others.

Warp reached out to Chris Cunningham (who directed Aphex Twin’s seminal videos for “Window Licker” and ‘Come to Daddy”) and asked Ryan to make Aphex Twin’s first official music video in over 17 years. Ryan, who has autism and is visually impaired, was more than up for the challenge, joining the ranks of his idols like director Cunningham, who posted his admiration for the young auteur’s work on the “comments” section, according to Ryan’s mom, Marie O’Toole Wyer, in an exclusive interview with Culture Creature. The spirited, DYI video, which has over 900K views, is like a modern day Little Rascals’ Our Gang short film with Ryan starring with his friends and family. They dance across the seaside town wearing masks, but you can’t hide the smiles on their faces. 

The reality of Ryan’s viral celebrity didn’t hit until his saw his video screened publicly on a digital display in Tokyo. “Ryan’s face just lit up with excitement,” Marie said in the article. The entire experience “has given Ryan a huge confidence boost,” she added.