Expert Knob Twiddlers

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Expert Knob Twiddlers
Studio album by Mike & Rich
Released June 24, 1996 (1996-06-24)
Recorded 1994-1996[1]
Genre IDM[2]
Length 57:51
Label Rephlex

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

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]


Expert Knob Twiddlers was released by Rephlex Records on June 24, 1996 on audio cassette, compact disc and vinyl.[5] 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 Carbon Trio and there was a lot of revived interest in easy listening. Neither of us was prepared for it."[4]

The cover of the album features Paradinas and James playing the Milton Bradley game Downfall.[6]

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


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[8]
Pitchfork (6.6/10)[9]

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 Media described it as "just a playful, occasionally inspired time capsule of the 1990s." and suggested that it is "Not to say it's a bad record, just one of little depth."[9]

Track listing[edit]

1996 release[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Mr. Frosty" 6:51
2. "Jelly Fish" 6:30
3. "Eggy Toast" 4:07
4. "Reg" 5:57
5. "Vodka" 4:12
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
No. Title Length
1. "Mr. Frosty" 6:53
2. "Reg" 5:56
3. "Jelly Fish" 6:01
4. "Eggy Toast" 4:32
5. "Vodka" 4:12
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
No. Title Length
1. "Vodka (Mix 2)" 4:22
2. "Portamento Gosh" 2:02
3. "Waltz" 5:24
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. ^ "[Inside Promo Sheet]". Expert Knob Twiddlers (Media notes). Mike & Rich. Rephlex Records. 1996. CAT 027 LP. 
  6. ^ Buckley 2003, p. 35.
  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. 
  12. ^ Slingerland, Calum. "Aphex Twin and µ-Ziq Treat 'Expert Knob Twiddlers' to Expanded Reissue". Exclaim. Retrieved 19 July 2016.