on 2 September 2006
Depending on your view, this is either a regression to tried-and-tested drill 'n' bass, or an ascension to the greatest sonic madness ever created. I conform to the latter view.
The album kicks off with a twisted bit of two-step garage, which eventually breaks down into a cacophony of chopped up breaks and snare-rushes, over Squarepusher's trademark bass-playing. Brilliant.
Then we move onto a couple of tracks of magnificent blistering drill 'n' bass in the form of Boneville Occident and Go Spastic. There is a brief interlude of ambient noises before the superlative garage-drill 'n' bass hybrid of The Exploding Psychology. Darned funky.
Next up, Squarepusher drops some classic drum 'n' bass in the form of I Wish You Could Talk. This is probably the easiest track to get into on the album, but loses nothing over time.
Now we hit the heavy stuff. Greenways Trajectory and My F****** Sound are pure sonic assaults, with the ambience of Tomnib providing the briefest of respites between them. This is probably the best section of the album, which is some achievement given the quality that runs throughout.
We end with Plaistow Flex Out - 4 minutes of seedy grooves that bring the album to its close. 48 minutes of drill 'n' bass perfection. This is one of my top 10 albums of all time.
on 23 May 2007
If, like me, you are not a hardcore electronica fan and `Go Plastic' is your first taste of Squarepusher, you might be as surprised as I was by what is on offer here.
The opener deserves a special mention because it is an instantly catchy and enjoyable garage-two step pastiche, which by the end becomes a classic in its own right. However, on initial listens, the rest of the CD sounds merely like a collage of bass licks, manic bursts of beats, odd noises and samples, rather like a gang of evil gnomes let loose in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
There is enough to keep you interested, though, and perseverance really pays off. After a while the listener is enthralled by the invention and variety on display, from the extreme noise assault of `Greenways Trajectory', which hits you with increasingly high-pitched tonal shrieks, to the blessed-out synth interlude of `Tommb' which would not be out of place on a Boards of Canada CD. At the risk of lapsing into cliché, you really do hear something new on each listen.
The CD works at its best when threads of mischievous melody emerge from the chaos and worm their way into your brain, for example the sinuous hook on `The Exploding Psychology' and the pounding rhythm of `I Wish You Could Talk'.
In occasional places `Go Plastic' is a trial to listen to, such as during `Go! Spastic' which never really resolves itself into anything memorable, but on the whole this is a thrilling listen ablaze with remarkable creativity and verve. Recommended.
on 17 October 2001
What can I say? This is what electronica should be. Tom has reached an all time high with this album. Building up to it from his other full lengths, this has been the most accessible, yet at the same time his most experimental. If you listen to the album it progresses through, slowly moving away from rhythm and melody towards harsher sounds, arhythmical and almost atonal; it then returns ro his jazz roots briefly (although undertones can always be heard) before climaxing and drifting away again into such intense and complex sequencing that could only be the work of one person. The first time I listened to this I totally hated the more experimental tracks, the lack of consistent loops, the random sounds, the slow build ups of sound towards seemingly irrelevant points. Having listened to this again and again it seems to me that the track which originally drew me to it was actually the joke of the album (you know which one I mean). Tom was trying to lure unsuspecting garage/2step fans to listen to something that they would never in their right minds have ever picked up had they known what was under the cover. Not that he doesn't deny the roots of some of this music, his drum and bass and techno listening seeps in throughout the cd. On further listening the cd seems to work itself into such a frenzy of rhythm that it needs to calm down, and ends on a sombre note that finishes like the last movement of a symphony. In fact I relate Tom's work more and more to the influence of modern composers, for through the atonal elements there creeps a sense of structure that has been well planned beforehand. Look out for anything Tom does, I can guarantee that even if it doesn't please you, it will open your mind.
on 8 May 2009
for any fans of forward looking abstract head music/electronic music - look no further.
"Go Plastic" released in 2001 stunned me when i bought it not long after release. the opening track : "my red hot car" was being pushed at the time by many influential djs , i heard it and thought whoah : whats thats? +bought the album. "red hot" is the most melodic obvious track to get in to for non-afficianados with its gorgeous cut-up melody + beats. other personal faves include: "my fckg sound" (beats/glitch complexity) , "boneville accident" + final track: "plaistow flex out" : which is as deep and dark and wonderful as it gets for this style of music.
a great great album. buy - then delve deeper in Squarepusher earlier releases such as "Big Loada" for hyper inventive cut up post jungle meets wig out avant-electronica meets cut-up bass, but for me - avoid Jenkinson's post- Go plastic era due to his increasing bass muso jazz noodlings which are an acquired taste.
however, "Go Plastic" contains much to clean out your perceptions of what hyper inventive "electronic" music is + should be..
on 8 October 2007
This music is awesome. But it's also weird and tough to listen to. If you're a fan of jungle/breaks/garage/electronica/Aphex Twin/Chris Morris then this is for you.
Squarepusher breaks down every little part of the beat spins it round and does almost everything to it apart from destroy it (and even then there are exceptions!) The result is a acid-fuelled frenzy of beats that somehow fit into place. It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle to get a picture that's different from the one of the box! Somehow it shouldn't work but it does.
The fist few listens makes it seem a little souless...but there are moments of mellowness and ease. Although it's certainly not for everyone, connisuers of electronica and production will have a blast. Above I mentioned it's like 'Chris Morris' because if you've ever head the music from Nathan Barley or Brass Eye, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
on 24 May 2003
This is a CD I often put on for just one track and then end up listening to the whole thing. It took a lot of listening to become familiar with it, and even six months ago I thought I knew it well. Then I listened to it last week and I found things I didn't know. I suddenly started to appreciate just what amazing rhythm Tom (Squarepusher) has. He's like Neo in the Matrix to the rest of us, I ain't kidding.
It took me a year to understand this album?? Yes and I have to confess that I wished I hadn't bought it for the first week.
on 10 May 2007
This is bloody hardcore, even though it's seen as very experimental I actually think it's eaiser to get to grips with then some of his other stuff. It has his most well known song of cause, My Red Hot Car has to be listened to at least once a day because it's a Electronic classic. The next song like the rest maybe seen as challenging but it's sought of catchy and conventional by his standards, you have to get to the second half of the album for the scary stuff but that always comes with Tom.
Overall an excellent album, well worth a look.
on 11 November 2015
NUTS AND BOLTS! I'm not really sure why I said nuts and bolts but thats probably as this cd makes your head wobbly. You are gonna get your head blown off with these sounds they are wacky as hell. A bit like Aphex Twin on Ketomine. I digg this kind of sound alot, however the whole album didn't get a 5/5 as it could have been more fluid as an album. Again, I like it, and I really appreciate the production of Squarepusher but for me could have been better.
on 5 September 2001
What the heck is going on here? I'm actually totally enjoying this record! I just wasn't fussed with Tom's work before ('cept The 'Pusher Theme), but here something clicks.
For starters it's obvious that our pushy square host is going for quality rather than quantity - at only 48 minutes this is relatively short for a Squarepusher LP, but this is definitely a good thing. Red Hot Car is tops just for the vocals, but it's also darned catchy. And Plaistow Flex Out is a nicely chilled, more downtemo way to end the album. But it surely must be the - formidable and totally unrelentlessly chaotic - combined forces of I Wish You Could Talk, Greenways Trajectory and My Fucking Sound, that stand out the most. Not just for the drum-feckery, but because of the dynamics of these tracks: there are quiet spots, and there are scarily-loud spots (all too often leaping out to scare the living shite out of you - esp: My Fucking Sound!), and these compliment each other very nicely. These kinds of dynamics are very rare in a purely electronic recording (even ae don't make use of this too often, and that's a shame), and this shows that Jenkinson really has mastered his art (or craft, whichever way you see it, I guess). Question is, after such an excellent release, will he be able to top it?
It's fast, it's confusing, it's 'esoteric', whatever that means; in a word, it's fantastic. It also has a few tunes, which is nice, and Red Hot Car is a funny garage pastiche that also happens to work as a fairly storming Pusher track. I Wish You Could Talk is my personal highlight of the album - I have a soft spot for nice subtle melodies - simply because it sounds strangely like a drill'n'bass version of Air On a G-String (or is it 'the g-string'? I can never remember). Don't be mistaken, there are some astoundingly noisy and occasionally aurally shocking tracks too - one or two will make you jump out of your skin at least a couple of times when played loud.