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Drukqs (Front Cover).png
Studio album by
Released22 October 2001 (2001-10-22)
GenreDrill 'n' bass,[1] electroacoustic,[1] techno,[2] IDM[3]
Aphex Twin chronology
Come to Daddy
26 Mixes for Cash

Drukqs (stylised as drukQs) is the fifth studio album by Aphex Twin, a pseudonym used by English electronic musician Richard D. James. The album is a double album and peaked at number 22 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 11,476 copies in its first week of release.[4] It was released to divided reception, with many critics dismissing it relative to his earlier work.[5] It would be James's final album as Aphex Twin until 2014's Syro.


Drukqs contains tracks dating back "seven or eight years", according to James.[6] The LP is a double album featuring roughly two types of tracks: computer-controlled piano pieces (influenced by Erik Satie and John Cage) and abrasive, fast, meticulously-programmed songs. Many track names are written in Cornish—for example, "Jynweythek" ("Machine")—or are coded titles.[7] James has stated that the title is not related to drugs, and is "just a word [he] made up"; he added "I never wanted to big up any drugs, because I don't reckon they deserve it."[7]

James claimed that he released the album primarily to circumvent a potential leak after he accidentally left behind an MP3 player containing about 180 unreleased tracks on a plane: "I thought, 'They're gonna fucking come on the internet sooner or later so I may as well get an album out of it first.'"[8] He intended it to be his final release as part of his contract with Warp.[6] About the album's two-disc length, James said "the way I listen to music now is that I buy a CD, put it on the computer and just take the tracks I want anyway. I’d hope that people would do the same with this CD."[6]

Of the album's complex drum programming, James said "it's quite similar to guitar solos, only with programming you have to use your brain. The most important thing is that it should have some emotional effect on me, rather than just, 'Oh, that's really clever.'"[7] He added that "A lot of [the tracks] are quite old-style sounding, I reckon. I’ve done loads of tracks which are really new in style and which don’t sound like anything else but I didn’t want to release those tracks."[6]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[10]
Alternative Press8/10[11]
The Guardian2/5 stars[12]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[13]
Q2/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone1/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[5]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 66, based on 21 reviews.[9] On its 2001 release Alex Needham of NME called it "beautiful" and "bulging with goodies".[14] For Spin however, Simon Reynolds criticised the album as "unimpressive" and "trapped by [its] potential for infinitesimal tweakage," stating that it "sounds merely like a slight extension of the Aphex sound circa 1996's Richard D. James LP and 1997's Come to Daddy."[17] Pat Blashill of Rolling Stone called it his "most irrelevant album to date", and added "rumor has it that James merely loaded this record with outtakes that have been eating up space on his hard drive for years, then released the album as a deal-breaker with his label, Warp."[3] Pitchfork described its "drill'n'bass" tracks as "throwbacks to the past rather than prospects on the future; and for all of their compositional strength, there's an element of the Aphex Twin mystique missing."[15] Later, critic Sasha Frere-Jones of Rolling Stone declaimed that "weirdly dismissed by many, Drukqs is often spectacular".[5]

In popular culture[edit]

"Avril 14th" has been used many times in other contexts. In 2006, it appeared on the soundtrack for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.[18] In 2007, it was sampled in the digital short "Iran So Far" on a Saturday Night Live episode that aired on 29 September. NBC had not obtained the rights to use the song.[19] Rights were later sold by Chrysalis Music, Aphex Twin's publishing company, for television and DVD usage, but The Lonely Island was not allowed to include the track on its album Incredibad.[20][21] In 2010, "Avril 14th" was used as the end credit music for Chris Morris's film Four Lions,[22] and also sampled by Kanye West allegedly without permission [23] for his song "Blame Game" on the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.[24] In 2013, the song was featured in a trailer for Spike Jonze's film Her.[18]

"Nanou 2" features in Shane Meadows' 2004 gritty cult thriller Dead Man's Shoes. A drukQs poster can be seen in Edgar Wright's 2004 comedy horror film Shaun of the Dead.

Track listing[edit]


All songs composed by Richard D. James.

Disc one
1."Jynweythek" (also known as "Jynweythek Ylow")2:14
3."Kladfvgbung Micshk"2:00
5."Strotha Tynhe"2:03
6."Gwely Mernans"5:00
9."Avril 14th"2:05
10."Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michaels Mount"8:02
12."Orban Eq Trx 4"1:27
14."Hy a Scullyas Lyf Adhagrow"2:10
15."Kesson Dalek" (also known as "Kesson Daslef")1:18
Total length:50:00
Disc two
1."54 Cymru Beats"5:59
5."Meltphace 6"6:14
6."Bit 4"0:18
7."Prep Gwarlek 3b"1:13
9."Taking Control"7:08
10."Petiatil Cx Htdui"2:05
11."Ruglen Holon"1:45
12."Afx237 v.7"4:15
13."Ziggomatic 17"8:28
Total length:47:22
aphextwin.warp.net exclusive tracks
31."dRuQks Prepared uN 1"3:01
32."avril 14th half speed alternative version [re-recorded 2009 Nagra]"5:07
33."avril 14th reversed music not audio [re-recorded 2009 Nagra]"2:12
34."Mangle 11"5:55


  • Another version of Avril 14th titled "avril 14th doubletempo,half speed" was added as Track 34 on December 03 (2018), but it was removed after some hours.
  • Mangle 11 was previously released on the Rephlexions! An Album of Braindance! compilation as "Mangle 11 (Circuit Bent V.I.P. Mix)" by AFX.



Aphex Twin – piano, synthesizers, harmonium, keyboards, various percussive objects, treatments, sampler, bass guitar


Chart (2001) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[25] 87
French Albums (SNEP)[26] 43
Irish Albums (IRMA)[27] 14
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[28] 36
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[29] 47
UK Albums (OCC)[30] 22
US Billboard 200[31] 154
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[32] 6


  1. ^ a b Seymour III, Malcolm. "Aphex Twin – Drukqs". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  2. ^ Needham, Alex. "Aphex Twin : Drukqs". NME. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Blashill, Pat (8 November 2001). "Aphex Twin: Drukgs". Rolling Stone (881). Archived from the original on 11 November 2001. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  4. ^ Pakinkis, Tom (29 September 2014). "Official Charts Analysis: alt-J's This Is All Yours secures No 1 album slot on 30,947 sales". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 29 September 2014. (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b c Frere-Jones, Sasha (2004). "Aphex Twin". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 21–23. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  6. ^ a b c d Hoffmann, Heiko. "Aphex Twin Interview" (PDF). Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Lester, Paul (5 October 2001). "Tank boy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  8. ^ O'Connell, John (2001). "Interview". The Face. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Reviews for Drukqs by Aphex Twin". Metacritic. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  10. ^ Bush, John. "Drukqs – Aphex Twin". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Aphex Twin: Drukqs". Alternative Press (161): 78. December 2001.
  12. ^ Simpson, Dave (19 October 2001). "Aphex Twin: Drukqs (Warp)". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  13. ^ Baltin, Steve (16 December 2001). "Aphex Twin 'Drukqs' Warp/Sire". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  14. ^ a b Needham, Alex (20 October 2001). "Aphex Twin : Drukqs". NME. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  15. ^ a b Seymour, Malcolm III (25 October 2001). "Aphex Twin: Drukqs". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  16. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (November 2001). "Aphex Twin: Drukqs". Q (183).
  17. ^ a b Reynolds, Simon (November 2001). "Aphex Twin: Drukqs". Spin. 17 (11): 130–32. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  18. ^ a b Weidenbaum, Marc (11 April 2014). "The Virtuous Circle of Aphex Twin Fandom". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  19. ^ Report, Post Staff (7 October 2007). "NBC Slept on Video's Digital Rights". New York Post. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  20. ^ SammyBreeze (27 February 2009). "Lonely Island Interview". UGO. Archived from the original on 6 March 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  21. ^ "The Daily Swarm – Aphex Twin in SNL 'Iran So Far' rap with Andy Samberg and Adam Levine". www.thedailyswarm.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-29. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  22. ^ Beta, Andy (3 November 2015). ""avril altdelay" by Aphex Twin Review". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  23. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/aug/26/aphex-twin-kanye-west-avril-14th-sample-blame-game
  24. ^ Sherburne, Philip (25 August 2014). "Aphex Twin Speaks on His New Album, Being Sampled by Kanye". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  25. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 22 October 2001" (PDF) (608). Australian Recording Industry Association. Pandora Archive. 22 October 2001. Archived from the original on 21 February 2002. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Lescharts.com – Aphex Twin – Drukqs". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  27. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 43, 2001". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Aphex Twin – Drukqs". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Aphex Twin – Drukqs". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  30. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  31. ^ "Aphex Twin Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  32. ^ "Aphex Twin Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2016.

External links[edit]