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 (born 27 March 1975) is a guitarist, bassist and singer-songwriter from Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire, Wales, now based in Cardiff. He was a founding member of the band Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, who split up in 2006. He performs and records as a solo artist, and as part of the band Pen Pastwn.[1]


Richard 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 - preferring to use a jet-black Ibanez GSA-60 through a Zoom GFX-707 multi-effects pedal (bought from Argos in Carmarthen). This drastically changed the band's sound. James wrote, and handles lead vocals on, some later Gorky's songs.

His first solo album, The Seven Sleepers Den, appeared in 2006. It featured backing vocals from Cate Le Bon (under her birth name of Cate Timothy).

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

In April 2012, James released his third album, Pictures in the Morning, also on Gwymon Records. Stylistically, it's a return to the "acid-house rave music" of The Seven Sleepers Den.[3] 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'.[4]

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] He's also long-collaborated with folk musician The Gentle Good.

James's fourth solo album, All the New Highways, was released in February 2015. It was a digital-only release on Bandcamp. In September the album was nominated for the 2014-2015 Welsh Music Prize.[5]

James has also composed music for the screen, including for the S4C drama series Cara Fi (2014) and for Tir, the 2013 film and the 2015 series which followed it.[6] He was nominated for a 2015 BAFTA Cymru award for Original Music for his work on Cara Fi.[7]

Solo discography[edit]

  • The Seven Sleepers Den (2006)
  • We Went Riding (21 June 2010)
  • Pictures in the Morning (23 April 2012)
  • All the New Highways (16 February 2015)


External links[edit]