Aphex Twin is finally ready to offer his mutation-driven music software to the world. Pitchfork notes Aphex Twin (aka Richard James) and engineer Dave Griffiths have released Samplebrain, a free "sample mashing" app that turns audio files from your computer into sample blocks you can use for projects. You can recreate a sample using tracks in your music library, or craft a "303 riff" from unexpected sounds.
The app is available in ready-to-use versions for Mac and Windows computers. You can build a Linux-friendly edition as well. As Pitchfork warns, you may need some technical know-how to use the app - this isn't for rookie musicians.
Samplebrain has been a long time coming, to put it mildly. James said he first envisioned the app in 2002, back when Drukqs was his latest release. He revealed that he'd hired an engineer to work on the software in 2014 (when he returned to music with Syro), but didn't say much else until now. There's a good reason for that, apparently. James and Griffiths realized the project became "slightly out of control" as they added more and more parameters, and James admitted he hasn't had much time to "explore [Samplebrain] properly." This is a bid to finally put the tool in creators' hands, even if it's in a rough form.