Not to be confused with Twistfuck, the song by The David Nelligan Thing from the album GIVE ME A SINE… this is the eponymous album by Twistfuck, ostensibly a different person. We have creative differences. It’s complicated…
I feel like some more background might be appropriate, as this is an unusual project, I think it could potentially be misunderstood. First things first. The only important thing to me is the music itself. The name, the artwork, the video, the spurious backstory and email thread, that was all just a bit of silliness. The song ‘Twistfuck’ from the album ‘Give Me A Sine’ includes the lines:
My brother told me I should change my name to something else
‘cos if you’re making music anonymity can help
The one thing you should never do is ever be yourself
My brother told me I should change my name to something else…
Those lines are in fact unadorned truth. A few years ago I was playing my brother Paul some of my more experimental remixes and he suggested that they were so different from my previous output that I should release them under some anonymous pseudonym. ‘Twistfuck’ was his off-the-cuff suggestion. It was such a stupid name that it made me laugh. Later it popped into my head when I was writing the song that became ‘Twistfuck’. And the song came to be a sort of parody of those kinds of bands that adopt the most stupid gimmicky vulgar names possible. I guess I was also lampooning my own frustration with self-promotion and the industry side of the music industry. I love music. I hate industry. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the two. If you try to go about promoting music released in your own name, it makes you sort of vulnerable. All that earnestness can be a bit stressful. Where’s the fun? I guess that’s where the silly name brigade got it right. It’s a conflict worthy of some tongue-in-cheek exploration. So Twistfuck was born. That’s ‘Twistfuck’ the song. So what the hell is the Twistfuck album?
A ‘Twistfuck’ was a kind of formula that I came up with for remixing songs. The name came later, but the technique came much earlier. I was recently listening to some old recordings and I realised I had first done this in around 2007 or 2008. I took an existing song that I had recorded, then I got the software to play it backwards at half or quarter speed (whichever sounded better). I chopped it up with modulation effects, especially hard tremolo and echo, to make new beats out of the slowed-down backwards song. Then you can add more instruments and elements to enhance the atmosphere of this backwards composition. You can add new lyrics and make a whole different song out of it. I did this once way back in the day. Nothing came of it, it was just a weird song that sat in a drawer. But something about it really appealed to me. Choosing a song with rich sonic textures can create an almost magical atmosphere when it is reversed and slowed down. The result can be a very organic kind of electronic music. I used this technique on Water Flowing Backwards, the last song on GIVE ME A SINE. I was pretty much recording GIVE ME A SINE and the Twistfuck album concurrently. In many ways I think of the Twistfuck album as a sort of companion piece.
On Water Flowing Backwards I developed what I initially intended to be a Twistfuck song into a completed song with lyrics, more representative of my own songwriting identity than my inscrutable alter-ego. The music on the Twistfuck album was intended to showcase the richness and textural warmth of the source recordings, the idea was to apply the Twistfuck aesthetic and see how minimally I need to add to that to make a new interesting composition. I used a couple of songs from Dark Matters, a couple from the Hundred Years Late project, and even one or two from GIVE ME A SINE. Then all that stuff with the fake emails and ridiculous backstory, that was just an amusement, a distraction, an exploration of identity in a world where art is cheap. Everything to distract you from the music, the bit that has my heart and soul in it. The one thing you should never do is ever be yourself. I can be earnest and vulnerable and call it ‘Twistfuck’. I can be passionate and intellectual and silly all at the same time. I can explore all kinds of contradictions. That’s what art is about.