Do You Know Squarepusher
Record label: Warp (UK)
Release date: 30 September 2002
It can't be easy being the Hard Normal Daddy. Squarepusher's been playing his hand at braindance beats for several years now. In that time, experimenting in rhythm has become more common within electronic dance. Fringe element artists include the likes of Bogdan Raczynski, Hrvatski, Doormouse, and Venetian Snares, all of whom have made music just as frenetic and complex (if not more so) than Tom Jenkinson's. In light of that fact, he surprised us all by showing us another side of himself - one that's actually more pleasing to the ear. He's been having a lot of fun combining these two sides, as shown by the highly addictive "My Red Hot Car" and the challenging but charming title track to this new mini-album. (The track was originally released as an untitled 12-inch last December.) The rest of the EP shows Jenkinson utilizing the same library of disturbing sounds that made Go Plastic so sinister. While not as solid as that album, it has its moments. "F-Train" is demented hip-hop with existential lyrics that wouldn't sound out of place on an Anticon release. "Anstromm-Feck 4" is an audio steamroller generated by Commodore 64 sound effects to create lightning fast drum and bass. There's even a bit of paranoid ambience via "Mutilation Colony." It would just figure that the best track is not only the most straightforward, but a cover tune. His rendition of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" could well be his best surprise yet, and suggests that we clearly don't know Squarepusher as well as we thought. By the way, it's worth your while to shell out the extra dough and get the CD version: the bonus live disc of his performance in Japan is insane. Takes me right back to my spastic, screaming fits of joy when I saw him every time I listen.