The Song:

Electro-funk weirdness, using Aphex Twin's semi-trademark inhuman wailing to provide the melody. There is a French voice sample near the end, "J'aime faire les croquettes au chien", which roughly translates as "I like to make croquettes for the dog".
I believe I can hear samples of both Björk's voice and the ICQ "uh-oh" incoming message sound elsewhere in the song, but that's very likely to be my imagination.


The video:

Directed by Chris Cunningham. A sunny Californian-looking seaside setting. Features an unusually long pre-song intro with much posturing a la rap video.
alcaron: I believe the French expression is 'leche-vitrine', the explanation being that one looks through windows at things for sale/other people's things.
A single by Aphex Twin. The video-clip of Windowlicker is the ultimate in "I have more money than God" egotism, and rocks rather hard.

Supposedly, "Windowlicker" is a French term which means somebody who obsesses over something they can't have. Obviously, the French don't actually say "Windowlicker" in English.

The official unofficial aphex twin faq "afxfaq" (version 2.6, released 2000.02.18), which can be found at www.aphextwin.org, has a section (H.8) about the french sentence in Windowlicker:

H:8 "What is the voice saying in 'Windowlicker'? It sounds French."

Indeed it is French. (Read the answer to the previous question regarding why in the world Richard has French "lyrics" in his song.) At 2:43 into the CD/LP version of "Windowlicker" and 7:03 into the video (where they reach the beach palisades) a small female-sounding voice says, "J'aime faire des croquettes au chien." Which literally means, "I like to make food for the dog."

"Croquette" means dog treat, like a milk-bone, or those brown, bone-shaped cookies for dogs. Interestingly enough, though, the words are said with a French-Canadian accent, not a French-French accent. That seems to piss on the notion that it has anything to do with Richard's French girlfriend, unless, of course, _she_ is French-Canadian.

According to Benoit Arsenault:

"I am a French-Canadian. And, in that sentence, 'croquette' does not seem to mean 'food' at all! In the French-Canadian, 'croquette' is mainly used with that meaning: a dog 'fait une croquette' when he bites you, but just a little bit, to show you his affection; not to hurt you. So, when the girl is saying 'J'aime faire des croquettes au chien,' that sounds like she likes to bite her dog, but just a little bit, to show him her affection. That's quite stranger that way, but, if the girl is French-Canadian, I think that that interpretation is better."

One more thing of absolutely no interest:

In Canada, the French menus at McDonald's list the chicken "McNuggets" as "McCroquettes." So maybe that is an indication of exactly what _kind_ of food Richard makes for dogs (or has his girlfriend make). Who really knows? Who really cares. I don't live in Canada, and I don't speak French at all. All of this could be completely made up for all I know.

I must add that, as a French canadian myself, I must agree that the girl is indeed one too; however, I doubt that the "bite" interpretation is correct. The fact that McNuggets are called McCroquettes in Quebec is of very strong interest indeed, since as can be seen on www.dictionary.com, a croquette is a "... small cake of minced food, such as poultry, vegetables, or fish, that is usually coated with bread crumbs and fried in deep fat".

I wish to offer here another interpretation of this french sentence. "J'aime faire des croquettes au chien" could either mean, as stated in the afxfaq, "I like to make croquettes for the dog", or more probably "I like to make dog croquettes", which is far more interesting. For my part, I'm not sure about it, but I think the sentence sounds more like "J'vais m'faire des croquettes au chien" (the only difference being the 'v' sound when said rapidly), short for "Je vais me faire des croquettes au chien", which unambiguously translates to "I'll make myself some dog croquettes".

EP by Aphex Twin, 1999.

  1. Windowlicker
  2. (Equation)
  3. Nannou

I make exception to my noding standards here. I will not node this where it goes, because no one in hell will be able to find it from under the appropriate node title if I put it there. Plus, even TeX almost chokes on this...

The second track on the EP is pretty interesting one. Most often it's referred to as "equation" or "strange formula" or something like that.

The title in TeX notation (the CD and the websites use pretty simplified font, I hope this is correct this time):

$$\Delta M^{-1}_{1} = -\alpha\sum^{N}_{n=1}D_{i}[n] \left[ \sum_{j\in{}C\{i\}} F_{ij}[n-1]+F\hbox{ext}_{i}[n^{-1}] \right]$$

Put that to your title search and smoke it! =)

The piece is, as the title suggests, mathematical in nature.

To fully enjoy the music, you need a spectrum analyzer that can draw a continuous spectrogram of the sound. (eXtace is pretty good, if you're on UNIX.) For best results, use analyzer that can display sound on logarithmic scale. (eXtace isn't good in this respect because it only uses linear scale. I found one tool (snd) that uses logarithmic scale somewhat better but not quite right.)

This is the first CD I've needed to buy due to technical quality of stuff shared in web, this time it has nothing to do with not being able to find a file that sounds good! =)

While the most of the track has synthetic sounds, there's something else in it not entirely audible. Look closely to the spectrum analyzer. It will look... strange. It will have pictures in it. There are several pictures and patterns visible in the song's spectrogram, some are reportedly not well visible if you use a crappy encoder. (The pictures in the .ogg I found before I got the CD were recognizable, if at times mangled...)

I think it's one of the first cases for me when I need FLAC... I suppose this piece is also very good for comparing the relative quality of some lossy audio encodins.

One thing is sure: I will never look at (or listen to) the music the same way! And maybe this will change the way how fundamentalist Christians analyze music. =) (See also backwards masking)

For the terminally lazy, here are pictures of the last "big ugly face" in the end of the piece:

http://www.aphextwin.nu/learn/99906995499023.shtml
http://www.joyrex.com/photos/gallery/equation_face.jpg
http://www.visualizationsoftware.com/gram/example15.html

(The first is distorted due to use of linear frequency axis... Latter two use logarithmic axis.)

(Carthag informs me that this is actually no one other than Richard D. James himself!)

The aforementioned stereotypical rap posturing is actually pretty damn funny, if you pay attention to it. Here we have a fatally overconfident would-be pimp try to pick up a girl off the curb and get smacked right back down by both the girls and his driving companion, a somewhat unusual contrast to the flocks of girls that follow "normal" rap stars in their videos (cf. "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Jay-Z). Then, of course, Aphex Twin makes it all seem pitiful. I'd also like to point out that, at times, the dialogue was extremely hard to transcribe from the video, due to the actors' tendency to slur pretty much every word they said so it becomes one big string of phonemes. If you'd like to see it yourself (and everyone needs to at least once), it's hosted in Quicktime over at http://www.director-file.com/cunningham/522.html, and if the bandwidth cap for that site has been exceeded for the day, a smaller version is available somewhere in http://www.aphextwin.nu/. Below is the pre-limo exchange in the video; the homies are played by Marcus Morris and Gary Cruz, and the hoochies are played by Marcy Turner and Chiquita Martin. I have no idea who is who.

(Obscenity count, done just for shits and giggles: "nigger," 43 occurances; "motherfuck(er|ing)," 26 occurances; "fuck" (excluding the above), 46 occurances; "shit," 16 occurances.)

(Two homies roll along the street, one driving and one talking. The driving one is bald, has a moustache, is wearing a white undershirt, and looks Hispanic; the one talking is black, but has long wavy hair and a plaid shirt.)

Homie 1: How about we find some motherfucking bitches, old man? Nigger, I'm horny as a motherfucker, nigger, you know what I'm saying?

Homie 2: I don't give a fuck, holmes.

Homie 1: I don't give a fuck neither, motherfucker. Gonna be finding some bitches, man.

Homie 2: I don't give a fuck!

Homie 1: All right, motherfucker, we need to find us some hos up in this motherfucker, man, for real! You know what I'm s— nigger, man, what the fuck is you slowing down for, nigger? Drive this motherfucker! Move! Roll, nigger, damn! We ain't getting nowhere—

Homie 2: Man, fuck you, holmes.

Homie 1: We'll get nowhere, man, driving like a little—

Homie 2: Fuck you, holmes!

Homie 1: —driving like a little bitch, man, you ain't driving Miss motherfucking Daisy, nigger! Just roll, nigger, shit! Man, I get tired of rolling with your slow ass, nigger, just roll, man! ... Some nice ass, oh, look at some bitches right there, oh, hell, yeah! Nigger, let's roll. It's on, motherfucker, yeah, nigger. Damn, I just can't wait, man, nigger horny as a motherfucker, man, dick all hard, nigger, i'm ready to fuck, nigger, straight up, nigger! I'm ready to get my groove motherfucking on, you hear me, nigger? Nigger—

Homie 2: Man, fuck you, holmes!

Homie 1: Nigger, quit slowing this motherfucking ride down, nigger, what's wrong with you, fool? Nigger, something wrong with your motherfucking feet? Nigger, drive this motherfucker, man, just get the fuck to where we got to go, nigger!

Homie 2: I don't give a fuck, holmes!

Homie 1: Damn! What the fuck going on up in this bitch? Let me play my shit, nigger! It's my motherfucking tape up in this bitch. Shit. (Homie 1 puts in some slow hip-hop groove music. Trivium: The bass line for this music is the same as the bass line for the Windowlicker song itself, only at half the speed.)

Homie 2: Man, I don't give a fuck.

Homie 1: Man, shut the fuck up, nigger! You get on my motherfucking nerves, nigger! (looking out the side of the car) Oh, shit, hey, nigger, hey. Hey, hey, m— hey, man, turn this motherfucking car around. Hey, turn this motherfucker around, fool! Oh, shit, aw, yeah. Oh, it's on, nigger. It's on up in this motherfucker, man. Nigger, nigger, come on, man.

Homie 2: All right, fool. (Homies pull up to two hoochies standing on the curb.)

Homie 1: Hey, what's packing, bitch?

Homie 2: Damn!

Homie 1: What the fuck going on up in this motherfucker?

Hoochie 1: Ooh, not your broke ass, nigger!

Hoochie 2: Ooh!

Homie 1: Why don't you two meet us in the car? Let's go! Oh, come on, girl, why you got to be broke, girl? What's happening? (I can't really tell what he's saying here; someone please enlighten me.)

Hoochie 1: Why, 'cause you ain't got but some broke trash-basket, you simple-ass fool, coming up, talking that shit to me!

Homie 2: What, what shit are you confused like that for, bitch?

Homie 1: Nigger, slow your roll, you just drive, nigger! (turning back to hoochies) Girl, you can get in, you can sit right here on my motherfucking lap, and let's roll. 'Cause it's party n—

Homie 2: Damn.

Homie 1: Hey, nigger, slow down, nigger, hold on, man, let me do this shit, just sit down!

Homie 2: I didn't say nothing, fool! What?

Homie 1: Girl, go on, get in this car, girl, we can have a good time, handle our business.

Homie 2: Good loving, fool!

Homie 1: Nigger, just shut the fuck up, nigger!

Homie 2: Shit, you shut the fuck up, holmes.

Homie 1: Girl, go on and get in the car, girl, so we can handle this business, girl. You make a nigger wanna fuck, girl. Get on in the car—

Hoochie 1: Say what? You ain't got shit coming!

Hoochie 2: Nothing.

Hoochie 1: You ain't got shit coming.

Hoochie 2: Not a motherfucking thing.

Hoochie 1: How do you think I'm gonna talk to you with your fake-ass jewelry?

Hoochie 2: Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Hoochie 1: You can't even have gold?

Homie 1: Hey, girl, y—

Hoochie 1: I mean, what can you do for me?

Homie 1: Girl, what the f— Girl, what the fuck are you talking about, broke? You see something broke about this, girl? (holds up his necklace)

Hoochie 1: Keep rolling. You ain't got nothing to offer me but your broke ass. And take your mama's car home, nigger.

Homie 1: Man, stop trying to diss me, ho! There's no trying to diss me, girl, I'm a player, girl, for real. Player, player, girl!

Homie 2: Man, shut the fuck up, fool.

Homie 1: Man, would you shut the fuck up, man?

Homie 2: Shut the fuck up, fool.

Homie 1: Let me handle this business, man.

Homie 2: Man, fuck you, holmes.

Homie 1: We ain't gonna get no pussy riding with your broke ass, nigger.

Homie 2: Man, fuck that. I don't give a fuck.

Hoochie 1: Nigger, you ain't gonna get no pussy no way! Don't nobody want to talk to your broke trifling ass. Look at you! Nigger, look at your hair!

Homie 1: Aw, girl, don't talk about my motherfucking hair, no the fuck you didn't talk about my hair. (Raucous laughter from hoochies.) Bitch, fuck you, girl!

Hoochie 1: Look at his hair! Nigger, you need to get something done to your shit. That's right, that's what I said, nigger! You ain't about shit, and your hair ain't neither.

Homie 1: Bitch! Don't be acting like no fucking stuck-up ho, like you're from Beverly Hills or some shit! Go on, get in the car, and let's roll.

Homie 2: Man, what you talking about, holmes?

Homie 1: Fuck you hos. Don't be putting your motherfucking nose up in the air, bitch!

Homie 2: Man, fuck that, bitch!

Homie 1: Hey, nigger, slow down, nigger!

Homie 2: Man, fuck this bitch, holmes!

Homie 1: Girl—

Homie 2: Girl, don't buy that!

Homie 1: Man, slow your motherfucking roll, fool!

Homie 2: Who do you think she is?

Homie 1: Slow your roll, nigger!

Homie 2: Go away, man, let me talk to her. Go away, go away.

Homie 1: Let me handle this. Let me handle this. Girl, go get in this motherfucking ride, get in the fucking car, and let's roll and do this shit. Nigger, you slow down and let me do this shit.

Homie 2: Man, fuck you, holmes.

Homie 1: Girl, we want to fuck, you know what I'm saying? Get on in the car, we'll get some liquor, and go get it on, girl!

Hoochie 1: You simple-ass niggers just better roll on.

Homie 1: Look, we ain't never gonna get no pussy because of your stupid-ass mouth, man. Shut the fuck up, man. Man, fuck that bitch!

Homie 2: This is you, man. 'Cause you can't get no play, motherfucker. No, none of it, you can't get no motherfucking play. You can't— (At this point, the Longest Limousine Ever crashes into their car. Hilarity ensues and Richard D. James gets all the women he wants.)

Please send all communication regarding this writeup, correction, rant, or otherwise, to "/msg pmdboi" .

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