Expert Knob Twiddlers

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Expert Knob Twiddlers
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 24, 1996 (1996-06-24)

Expert Knob Twiddlers is a 1996 studio album by Mike Paradinas and Richard D. James. It was released in 1996 on Rephlex Records and credited to Mike & Rich.

On 14 July 2016, Planet Mu announced that a reissued version would be released with seven bonus tracks in September 2016. [3]


Mike Paradinas described the sound of the album as "an updated version of easy listening and funk".[4] James had heard the music Paradinas had made under the name of Jake Slazenger and invited him to create tracks.[1] Paradinas noted James had invited other artists to collaborate with him, including Luke Vibert, Squarepusher and Cylob and was honoured that his collaborative tracks were chosen for the release.[1] Both artists were getting drunk while developing tracks, something that Paradinas stated that neither artist regularly did.[1]

The track "Giant Deflating Football" was written during the 1994 FIFA World Cup.[1] Paradinas noted that the two "were able to quite quickly write a large amount of material. "Giant Deflating Football" is named because it had some quite weird percussion sounds made by scraping and blowing in a microphone. It sounded like a big wheezing football. We took a bit of acid afterwards to listen to it, and we were coming out with some imagery like 'Beady Eyes', which is mentioned in one of the tracks."[1]


The cover of the album features Paradinas and James playing the Milton Bradley game Downfall It, in itself also parodies the box art of the original game while doing so.[5]

Expert Knob Twiddlers was released by Rephlex Records on June 24, 1996 on audio cassette, compact disc and vinyl.[6] Paradinas felt the album should have been released as early as 1994, stating that "At that time, that style was something that no one else had done [...] It wasn't like anything anyone heard before really. By the time it did come out, a lot of things came out like Lisa Carbon Trio aka Lisa Carbon aka Lisa Carbon & Friends (band has albums on different listings) and there was a lot of revived interest in easy listening. Neither of us was prepared for it."[4]

On July 19 2016, the song "Vodka (Mix 2)" was released with the announcement of the album's 2016 reissue.[7]

The original version of this album was known by both Mike & Rich as just simply "Mike & Rich" and not "Expert Knob Twiddlers" which it is known by their fans. When the reissue was released they eventually just listed it as "Expert Knob Twiddlers". Also keep in mind that the reissue is more audio compressed than the original. The original release has a different track order and is the most preferred version of the album.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]

The Guardian gave the album three stars, calling it "a lovingly kitsch collaboration" and that the album "might easily have been a loathsomely ironic exercise." stating that the track "Mr. Frosty" made the album "worth owning".[10] The review concluded that "much of the rest is indulgent piffle."[10] AllMusic gave the album four stars, while noting that the mixed styles of James and Paradinas "cancels out the particular attractions of both artists, and the listener is left with a somewhat bland album. Fans of Aphex and µ-Ziq will be excited, but newcomers should go elsewhere before they dig this deep."[8]

In retrospective reviews, Pitchfork described it as "just a playful, occasionally inspired time capsule of the 1990s."[9]

Track listing[edit]

1996 release[edit]

1."Mr. Frosty"6:51
2."Jelly Fish"6:30
3."Eggy Toast"4:07
6."Winner Takes All"5:44
7."Giant Deflating Football"6:22
8."Upright Kangaroo"3:31
9."The Sound of Beady Eyes"7:46
10."Bu Bu Bu Ba"6:51


2016 reissue[edit]

Disc one
1."Mr. Frosty"6:53
3."Jelly Fish"6:01
4."Eggy Toast"4:32
6."Winner Takes All"5:44
7."Upright Kangaroo"3:32
8."Giant Deflating Football"6:21
9."The Sound of Beady Eyes"7:46
10."Bu Bu Bu Ba"6:52
Disc two
1."Vodka (Mix 2)"4:22
2."Portamento Gosh"2:02
4."Brivert & Muonds"6:17
5."Clissold Bathroom"0:54
6."Jelly Fish (Mix 2)"5:21
7."Organ Plodder"4:15



The credits state "Everything by Richard James and Michael Paradinas except for cover by Richard James and Johnie Clayton".[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Bulut, Selim (September 8, 2015). "The 20 tracks that define Planet Mu, according to Mike Paradinas". Dummy. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Twells, John. "Aphex Twin and µ-Ziq's Expert Knob Twiddlers gets expanded reissue". FACT. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  3. ^ Twells, John. "Aphex Twin and µ-Ziq's Expert Knob Twiddlers gets expanded reissue". Fact Mag. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b "u-Ziq Interview by Jason Gross". Perfect Sound Forever. September 1997. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  5. ^ Buckley 2003, p. 35.
  6. ^ "[Inside Promo Sheet]". Expert Knob Twiddlers (Media notes). Mike & Rich. Rephlex Records. 1996. CAT 027 LP.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ Lozano, Kevin. "Aphex Twin and µ-Ziq Announce Expert Knob Twiddlers Reissue, Share Unreleased Track". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  8. ^ a b Bush, John. "Expert Knob Twiddlers". AllMusic. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (September 30, 2016). "Expert Knob Twiddlers". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Bennun, David (July 19, 1996). "Dance". The Guardian. London: Guardian News & Media Limited. p. A12. ISSN 0261-3077.
  11. ^ a b "[Inside sleeve]". Expert Knob Twiddlers (Media notes). Mike & Rich. Rephlex Records. 1996. cat027cd.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ Slingerland, Calum. "Aphex Twin and µ-Ziq Treat 'Expert Knob Twiddlers' to Expanded Reissue". Exclaim. Retrieved 19 July 2016.