LOS ANGELES - Aphex Twin, the elusive British electronic artist known for his innovative and abstract orchestrations, won a Grammy on Sunday for "Syro," his first studio album in 13 years.
Aphex Twin, whose real name is Richard David James, is one of the biggest forces behind so-called "intelligent dance music," or IDM, which encourages improvisation and a breakbeat style, as opposed to the linear, repetitive beats in mainstream dance music.
Aphex Twin has rejected the IDM label, seeing it as patronizing to imply that other electronic artists are not intelligent, although he has become a favourite among fans of more inventive dance music.
The award was presented at a ceremony before the main Grammy event in Los Angeles. Aphex Twin makes few public appearances and did not show up to receive the trophy.
Signed to Britain's Warp Records, the premier IDM label, Aphex Twin promoted "Syro" with a non-traditional campaign that included a blimp in London that simply said "2014" with the artist's logo as well as street art in New York.
"Syro," which features compositions that Aphex Twin wrote during his recording hiatus, employs a wide variety of synthesizers and glitchy beats along with electronically altered vocals, with computer-sounding song titles that defy pronunciation.
Aphex Twin's last album was in 2001, before the Best Dance/Electronic Album category existed.
He beat out nominees that included the popular Canadian progressive house DJ deadmau5 and a collaboration between the dark Norwegian electronic duo Royskopp and the Swedish singer Robyn.