Warp Records and the Don't-Call-It-IDM Revolution

Celebrating 20 years of weird radicalism with a label that didn't quit

You know, we're always asking ourselves that question! There's not a typical Warp consumer, because they're different for different acts, so if you went to a Grizzly Bear gig, they would be a damn sight different from [those at] an Autechre gig. If you go to an Autechre gig, it's going to be a lot of guys that are really intense and really into getting their minds blown by the psychedelic music, but at a Grizzly Bear show, there are going to be really young kids and loads of beautiful-looking people. It really does vary.

Do you think people are getting more beautiful as time goes on?

[Laughs.] I think we are, you know?

Oh, Aphex Twin.
Courtesy Warp Records
Oh, Aphex Twin.

In the last 20 years—1989 to now?

Oh, my God. For sure. If you think of what people are wearing now compared to baggy, baggy T-shirts with smiley faces, fucking red bandannas . . .

Well, that was just depressing. Why must you bring that up?

[Laughs.] You didn't have to live with it!

What's the strangest place Warp music has appeared?

My sister went on holiday in some remote place in Italy, and she arrives in the village, and there's some Warp track playing out the window—things like that. Getting in taxis in Germany, and it's playing on the radio. The best one was when I went into a café, and the press person was supposed to give me a pitch on some band she was working on, and Autechre was playing in the café as I walked in. And then to start off the conversation, she said, "Fucking hell, I can't stand this music—I can't tell the difference between the cappuccino machine and this record!" I said, "This is my label's band." She was mortified.

The 'Warp20' celebration runs September 3–6 at the New Museum with a free Warp Films retrospective. !!!, Battles, Flying Lotus, and Pivot play Terminal 5 on September 4.

Chris Clark, Hudson Mohawke, and Warp DJs play the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center September 5; (le) poisson rouge hosts a closing performance that same night featuring Jamie Lidell, Born Ruffians, and the Hundred in the Hands. For more information, see wordlessmusic.org or warp.net/records/warp20.

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