Windowlicker (1:01)

Cover of Windowlicker

From Windowlicker and 39 other releases

Windowlicker” is a 1999 single by electronic music artist Richard D. James, released under the Aphex Twin name on Warp Records. The single reached #16 in the UK Singles Chart. The song was later voted, by fans, as Warp Records’ most popular song, for its Warp20 compilation.

The name of the single comes from the derogatory British term “windowlicker”, meaning a mentally handicapped person. The term is also a direct English translation of the French term faire du lèche-vitrine, meaning “window shopper”, a second meaning played up in the song’s video.

“Windowlicker” consists of James’s voice modulated on computer, mixed with his trademark breakbeat snare rushes, drum samples, and mixed choir-like singing, resulting in a smooth yet erratic song, its last minute escalating into an extremely distorted wall of bass. Also included is a sample of James’s French then-girlfriend speaking in her native tongue saying J’aime faire des croquettes au chien, translating to “I love making dog nuggets”.

The single has two b-sides. Track two, commonly known as “Formula” or “Equation” due to its actual title being a complex mathematical formula (∆Mᵢ⁻¹ = −∂ ∑ Dᵢ [∑ Fⱼᵢ[n−1] + F extᵢ[n⁻¹]]), has a very experimental sound. Track three, “Nannou”, dedicated to his then-girlfriend, is made up of wind-up music box samples.

Viewing a spectrogram of the second track reveals hidden images of James’ face that were apparently synthesized as sound by Aphex Twin for the express purpose of being discovered in this manner.

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  • DJVulpus

    Can't believe this is over 15 years old now, hasn't aged a bit

    9 Apr 10:58pm Reply
  • juansebastianpj

    clásico por siempre!

    18 Mar 12:17am Reply
  • Churumbela

    ...you would if you had robot ears.

    12 Mar 1:53pm Reply
  • WS9167

    I usually don't get urges like this, and I want to protect my hearing of course, but.... but... I'd really like to destroy my ears with this song.

    26 Feb 7:42pm Reply
  • WS9167

    @Joshoewaa: You could say this about the majority of tracks that were in the Singles Chart 15 years ago.

    19 Feb 9:54am Reply
  • X8SK5X

    Japanese Remix of Windowlicker is equally as good if not better than original imo

    8 Feb 5:46pm Reply
  • dfrnz

    This is a remix and not the original. The original is longer and has more substance, I doubt this remix is even his.

    2 Feb 4:31pm Reply
  • WS9167

    j'aime faire des craquettes au chien

    10 Jan 3:45pm Reply
  • UndewaterBOY42

    Well done for making it into Flying Lotus' FlyLo station on GTA V haha [2]

    3 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Joshoewaa

    You'd never see a track like this getting to 16 in the Singles Chart anymore.

    1 Dec 2013 Reply
  • TheMoralCrusade

    Masterpiece.

    22 Nov 2013 Reply
  • maccrash

    one of the best songs he's ever done, some sort of mixture of SAW vol. 1 and his RDJ album work

    21 Nov 2013 Reply
  • sweatbloodtears

    invigorating

    14 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Jonnyplops

    DrSlump is overrated!

    6 Nov 2013 Reply
  • the_raytownian

    @DrSlump7 hmph, contrarian opinions being observed as if they're universal absolutes. shocking. What AT full-length/single track from the 90's isn't "overrated"? What's it even matter? Saying this song's overrated is grossly undermining the kind of shit going on in this track being really pretty fucking nuts for 1999. It's one stellar song that managed to distill what he'd been developing and refining under the AT moniker for the last half of the 90's. It's not "overrated", it's recognized for what it is... and it's great.

    25 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Unkn0wnumb3rs

    Well done for making it into Flying Lotus' FlyLo station on GTA V haha

    25 Sep 2013 Reply
  • 96Hellview96

    Put the real track up, this is garbage

    2 Sep 2013 Reply
  • jussi_m

    v of course you will..

    31 Aug 2013 Reply
  • GaaraGOinMusic1

    i will listen this song in GTA V

    30 Aug 2013 Reply
  • DrSlump7

    hmph, overrated. I don't know why this is so popular. Pretty inferior to most of his works IMO.

    26 Aug 2013 Reply
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