Expert Knob Twiddlers

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Expert Knob Twiddlers
Studio album by Mike & Rich
Released June 24, 1996 (1996-06-24)
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.


Mike Paradinas described the sound of the album as "an updated version of easy listening and funk".[1] James had heard the music Paradinas had made under the name of Jake Slazenger and invited him to create tracks.[2] 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.[2] Both artists were getting drunk while developing tracks, something that Paradinas stated that neither artist regularly did.[2]

The track "Giant Inflating Football" was written during the 1994 FIFA World Cup.[2] Paradinas noted that the two "were able to quite quickly write a large amount of material. "Giant Inflating 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."[2]


Expert Knob Twiddlers was released by Rephlex Records on June 24, 1996 on audio cassette, compact disc and vinyl.[3] 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."[1]

The cover of the album features Paradinas and James playing the Milton Bradley game Downfall.[4]


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".[5] The review concluded that "much of the rest is indulgent piffle."[5] 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."[6]

Track listing[edit]

  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



The credits state "Everything by Richard James and Michael Paradinas except for cover by Richard James and Michael Clayton".[7]


  1. ^ a b "u-Ziq Interview by Jason Gross". Perfect Sound Forever. September 1997. Retrieved November 27, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  3. ^ "[Inside Promo Sheet]". Expert Knob Twiddlers (Media notes). Mike & Rich. Rephlex Records. 1996. CAT 027 LP. 
  4. ^ Buckley 2003, p. 35.
  5. ^ a b Bennun, David (July 19, 1996). "Dance". The Guardian (London: Guardian News & Media Limited). p. A12. ISSN 0261-3077. 
  6. ^ Bush, John. "Expert Knob Twiddlers". AllMusic. Retrieved November 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "[Inside sleeve]". Expert Knob Twiddlers (Media notes). Mike & Rich. Rephlex Records. 1996. cat027cd.