Richard James (musician)

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This article is about the Welsh musician. For Richard D. James, the musician with the pseudonym Aphex Twin, see Aphex Twin.

Richard James is a guitarist, bassist and singer-songwriter from Pembrokeshire, Wales. He was a founder member of the band Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, who split up in 2006. He performs and records as a solo artist, and more recently as part of the band Pen Pastwn.[1]


James was with Gorky's Zygotic Mynci throughout the band's lifespan, from 1991 to 2006, and appears on all their albums, initially mostly as a bassist. After John Lawrence left the band, James took Lawrence's place as guitarist. James wrote, and handles lead vocals on, some later Gorky's songs.

His first solo album, The Seven Sleepers Den, appeared in 2006.

His second album was released on 21 June 2010 from Gwymon Records. Called We Went a' Ramblin', it features the talents of Euros Childs and Cate Le Bon.[2]

In April 2012, James released his third album, Golden Grahams In The Morning, also on Gwymon Records. The label calls it "a return to 90s style ravey vibes of the Hacienda in its hey-day."[1] The album features James's signature Yoko Ono-esque wailing and "the occasional electronic fart noise";[3] stylistically, it's a return to the "acid-house rave music" of The Seven Sleepers Den.[4] As James prefers, the album was recorded at night in pitch-black darkness, rather than in normal lighting conditions.[1] Former Gorky's bandmate Euros Childs again contributed backing vocals on three tracks as well as ruffling an empty Twix wrapper on the bonus-track entitled 'Ich Bin Ein Affe-Täter'.[5]

James curates the musical sides of both the annual Laugharne Weekend festival, and the more frequent In Chapters, a Cardiff-based beard-stroking event. His band Pen Pastwn evolved from the In Chapters house band.[1]

Richard James' fourth solo album, All The New Highways, was released in February 2015. It was a digital-only release. James stated in a recent interview that he "don't do physical no more."

2016 will see the release of James' fifth studio album "Start Eating Purple" (a deliberate play on words doffing the cap to the popular song by gypsy band Gogol Bordello). Its lyrical content will mostly be dedicated to his belief that purple sprouting broccoli is the only thing people should eat.

Solo Discography[edit]

  • The Seven Sleepers Den (2006)
  • We Went a' Ramblin' (21 June 2010)
  • Golden Grahams In The Morning (23 April 2012)
  • All The New Highways (16 February 2015)


  1. ^ a b c d [1] Gwymon
  2. ^ [2] Wales Online
  3. ^ [3][dead link] The MMP: The definitive guide to music in Wales
  4. ^ [4] The Line of Best Fit
  5. ^ [5] Artrocker

External links[edit]

  • In Chapters, the event with music curated by James; the site also has information about his band Pen Pastwn
  • Richard James on Myspace: mostly about his 2010 album We Went Riding