The Bad Plus Plays Aphex Twin's Flim... Live?!?

Most everyone I know who is a fan of Aphex Twin was introduced and converted by his track called Flim.  That's about the same time they mention Aphex Twin to one of their homie's who then immediately is like, "Well, I used to like him before anybody knew about him, but now that they do I think he sucks."  That's also the exact same moment they realize their friend is a contrarian moron who cares more about how his ego looks than how it feels.

Anyways, Flim is a super ambient electronic track full of the most complex micro-beats you've ever heard.  You could go into a trance trying to analyze those drums along with the dreamy piano melody, especially when it drops into triplets and sixlets and whatever the heck else is happening with the time signature and polyrhythms and what not.

Basically, it's the next level drum rhythms that you'd think you could only pull off by programming them in a computer DAW... until you watch The Bad Plus drummer nail it note for note with zero mistakes.  Aphex Twin did program the drums, though, which makes The Bad Plus that much more awesome.

the bad plus flim live

Whether you've heard the original or not, go ahead and watch this drummer.  When your face is done melting off, you can continue on to hear the original lower in the post.  This video was filmed at New Morning in Paris on October 5th, 2010.

The Bad Plus Version

Nothing is more hype than the pianist plinking out the simple melody while the drummer goes to town with the nutty fills, except when the bassist comes in and on that downbeat and everything kicks in on overdrive.  That's right.  What you thought was insanely amazing was simply the intro sequence to the full mind-melting song.

Scoop your face up off the floor and get situated.  Because now you have to check out the original.  Although you don't get to watch any sweet performance, you do get a better idea of how the song is designed and meant to sound.

The Original Aphex Twin Version

The original Aphex Twin version is beautiful for it's perfectly mixed soundscape with that spacey reverb and crystal clear clarity.  The piano has that washed out reverb but the reverb on the drums has enough of a pre-delay and equalization applied that the drums almost sound dry.  That, my friends, is a masterclass in how to use reverb.

aphex twin flim live

But there's nothing like seeing The Bad Plus reproduce this insanity live.  I've seen other guys pretend to pull it off on YouTube while simplifying it.  In my mind, you might as well not even try, because those of us paying attention are going to notice.  These guys didn't miss a single lick.  Accept no substitutes!

This video reminds me of the thousands of drummers trying to play Rush's Tom Sawyer live note for note.  It's embarrassing how few can pull it off, and even worse when you see a guy playing it perfectly through a marionette.