Aphex Twin’s Devil Face Illusion


Remeber how back in the old days, people accused Black Sabbath of sneaking satanic messages into their song, that could only be heard by playing it backwards. First time I was entrodouced to this kind of hidden mesagges, was when I saw Little Nicky staring Adam Sandler.

Well, that’s nothing compared to Aphex Twin, who sneaked in the Aphex Twin face (Richard David James, himself) in their Windowlicker EP in 1999. The face can be revealed when the song is played by a computer software that visualizes sound waves, (ie Cool Edit Pro). Here’s the result! Was it done or purpose, or just another optical illusion, judge for yourself… Jump inside this article for more simmilar stuff! This belongs to Multiple Meanings Category. If you know of any other cool hidden mesagge examples, come to our new forum and discuss it with us!

Extract of Plaid’s “3 recurring” from “Rest Proof Clockwork”

Venetian Snares’ “Look” from “Songs about my Cats”

Spiral at the end of track #1 on Aphex Twin’s “Windowlicker”

  • vurdlak

    More info can be found here.

  • Sexton Lovecraft

    Nice! Looks like the images appear in the spectral analysis, so inserting the images to appear that way is probebly pretty straight forward. But it must have an effect on the audible spectrum so it makes me wonder about the authenticity …..

  • marco

    it’s a quite old news ;)

    hope that’s help:

    keep it up this great site!!

    Ciao from Italy!

  • easterlingman

    the crew over at watmm have known about this for quite a while.. there’s also an SSTV image on the “bonus high frequencies” on “2 remixes by AFX” – the picture is viewable at the bottom of this page: http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?what=R&obid=19175 (it can’t be blown up any more, that’s all the available data

  • Toine

    I even had the Windowlicker-pic in a lesson at school (study Audio Design, HKU – Holland). MetaSynth is really cool, it lest you draw and manipulate the spectrum of a soundfile as if it were in a Paint-like app. It does this (probably) by applying the Inverse Fast Fourier Transform (IFFT), the normal FFT is often used to make your spectral analysis. Where FFT converts from time-domain information (the way audio is normally represented) to spectral information (each “line”, or bin, stands for a band of frequencies), the IFFT does the opposite. This enables you to roughly draw frequencies.
    By loading a picture, you let go of any “musical” grasp you have on that piece of audio, because the pixels now influence the frequencies. Therefore it will most likely sound weird (or contemporary electronic). Recursive patterns as the Spiral and the “3”‘s can however produce quite nice sounds, because as with everything including music, “It’s all about math’s”.

  • Anonymous

    i love the first 1. is soo weird

  • Daryl

    Nine Inch Nails’ recent MP3 contains an image in its spectral analysis as well.

    View here

  • Anonymous


  • Michel Rouzic

    One thing that amazed me is that people keep making such images in the logarithmic scale as the linear scale would be best suited (and thus make the image as sharp vertically) and why they use sine generation, as ISTFT or bandpass-filtered noise generation would be best suited. Maybe because they have no clue..

  • Anonymous

    this is not MUSIC. It is only a joke.

  • Anonymous

    @Daryl – I’m not rly surprised by that – NiN worked together with Aphex Twin more than once in their career :)

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    thats really cool
    but the first pic was a lil bit freaky


    sexton lovecraft
    thats such a kl nickname or is it ur real name

  • Anonymous

    whoa, the first one freaked me out! ha ha!

  • vAnESSa

    Okay, this isn’t as scary as i thought it might have been. Damn, I wet myself for nothing!

  • Anonymous

    i know this is immature, but the first face totally scared me! Its not as scary as the Really Scary Illusion, but i mean……..

  • damianna

    cmon now, thats no illusion, or magic or spirits its fake. lets b real

  • Anonymous

    Man this is a bitch-ass optical illusion.

    Love Carlos

  • Turk

    Other than Metasynth what apps (for Mac) can utilise an image ?
    What app will display the S.I.? – i’ve tried ‘Spectre’, it appears to do everything but, even the Spectral Analysis module dosen’t reproduce the images for any of the above (yeah i could just look at them on this page but what about other tracks that I know have used Metasynth (pretty distinct sound when an image is used) that i’d like to check?

    as said mac OSX 10.5+ (or 10.3+ & 10.4+) Intel or PPC


  • CAT!

  • mackenzie 12

    pretty cool

  • mackenzie 12

    i love magic tricks if you no were i cood see more just post it as a coment on my youtube channel ….(mackypoooh is my channel name.)

  • Mysterieo The Illusionist

    AH that picture of the cat freaks me out! lol

  • AirZeee


    replaces the link in entry above:

    easterlingman says:
    October 11, 2006 at 3:45 pm

  • Ray Buchanan
  • EB

    I once stood before the bathroom mirror, put my head between my legs. I stared into the mirror in wonderment.
    You know what I saw?
    My big dick and my fuzzy nuts in the upside down position.
    What did you expect me to say? That I spotted the formula for world peace tattooed across my ass.

  • Grace

    Dude, it’s introduced!

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