It wouldn't be overstating the case to say that electronic experimentalist Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) is known for his eccentric persona. Ranging from the mildly quirky to the brilliantly warped, the videos for his singles "On," "Donkey Rhubarb," and "Come to Daddy," collected here, perfectly translate Aphex Twin's off-kilter aesthetic to the visual medium. Directed by Martin Wallace and Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, "On" is a surreal, stop-frame collage. It comprises a speeded-up, anxious arrangement and rearrangement of random objects on a beach, including an antique diving suit, a giant ear, scissors, a crocodile, and a life-sized cutout of James himself. Things take a more bizarre turn on David Slade's rendering of "Donkey Rhubarb," which could be an outtake from a children's TV show gone horribly wrong. The track's playful, semi-novelty sound finds visual expression in three bulbous, Teletubby-like bears, each of which has James' maniacally grinning face. During the course of the video, they clumsily practice martial arts, obsessively thrust their pelvises, and dance merrily with small children. However, "On" and "Donkey Rhubarb" are but a mild preamble to the centerpiece of this collection, the notorious "Come to Daddy," directed by Chris Cunningham. This seems to be a parody of the idea that media control our behavior, set to Aphex's extreme noise assault. Rampaging, brawling, lewd midgets of both genders and an abject homunculus that emerges from a television -- again, all with James' leering face -- terrorize the residents of some urban wasteland and their pets. Dismissing claims that the video was disturbing and sick, Cunningham responded that he finds Spice Girls videos far more troubling. Controversy aside, the material on Come to Viddy shows just how creative music videos can be and how an apparently constrictive promotional vehicle can be turned into a hilarious minor art form.
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AllMusic Review by Wilson Neate