Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin, has made a multiple-decade spanning career by experimenting with synths. The Japanese musical instrument manufacturer Korg recently announced the Monologue — a new monophonic synthesizer featuring presets designed by James. Alongside an in-depth interview with Korg’s Tatsuya Takahashi, James has shared a new Korg-created song, simply titled “korg funk 5.”
Opening with a busy synth line, the track features a soft electronic drum beat, spacey midi strings, and dance undercurrents. James’ use of the Korg synth is quite impressive, as he is able to make entire melodic and rhythmic soundscapes with just a few different pads. While the majority of the tune feels light and downtempo, the song takes a funky shift after a brief ambient breakdown. The intro synth line is doubled with more choppy rhythms and grimy synth bass. Also, James’ son is sampled throughout the track, adding a kindred overtone to the already-warm track. The song closes with an ultra-funky synth bass that pops like bubble gum, before the shuffling electronic drums drop out and the synth has one final chord ringing out.
In the interview with Takahashi, James spoke about the project, saying, “I really enjoyed working on this with you. I know I only joined the project near the end, but I found it really exciting.” The two went on to discuss the synth’s creation, as well as their thoughts on audio, music, instruments, and more. Even if you don’t own a synth, it’s an interesting read.
In addition, James shared several custom scale-based tracks made with multiple Korg instruments. They play out like nice ambient mood tracks. The Monologue synth is available now. Aphex Twin’s role was described as an “advisor for the implementation and also to offer scales, sounds and sequences as part of the factory presets.”