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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Squarepusher Experience
Tom Jenkinson's new one is certainly not for the light eared. Despite the often mellow pace and jazzy interludes, this CD often launches into a grating hell of catastrophic sound. When "50 Cycles" peaked, there was such an explosion of pure noise my flat became temporarily convinced Judgment Day had arrived: lamps cast shadow, chairs became flaccid, and my cat took out...
Published on 3 Aug 2005 by Alan Ranta

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11 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Music is music ?
If it's not science then its art and if its art then it either touches you or leaves you unaffected. As and art form, therefore, Squarepusher fully engages me but in the form of repulsion. It grates. It's dreadful. It's Aphex Twin without either the rhythm or the tune. Its a skip full of kitchen appliances falling down the stairs. I fully appreciate that for some this is...
Published on 8 July 2004


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Squarepusher Experience, 3 Aug 2005
By 
Alan Ranta (Tiny Mix Tapes) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
Tom Jenkinson's new one is certainly not for the light eared. Despite the often mellow pace and jazzy interludes, this CD often launches into a grating hell of catastrophic sound. When "50 Cycles" peaked, there was such an explosion of pure noise my flat became temporarily convinced Judgment Day had arrived: lamps cast shadow, chairs became flaccid, and my cat took out nine life insurance policies online, despite my protests that he really only needed one, before merging interdimensionally with a Smoking Baby® incense holder. He never was much into electronica anyway.
A relative departure from 2001's lyrically intense Go Plastic, Ultravisitor is almost entirely an adventure in sound. Cascading synths roll behind a jazz-funk bass while fractured snares and the like accompany a truly gifted set of overworked, natural drums. The presence of well-timed crowd sounds give the album a sense of completion and comfort during an often bumpy ride. It also sucks the listener into a concert type feeling forcing one to pay more attention to the man behind the music and the creative process which helped bring this album to life as opposed to the dehumanized approach heralded by the likes of Kraftwerk.
As such, your enjoyment of this LP depends on your tolerance of generally menacing noise and patience during the many interludes. I, for one, find it to be a powerful, immensely enjoyable and moving piece of electronic art which should age well and influence many in the future.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Tom Jenkinson, 8 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
Ultravisitor seems like tom jenkinson's attempt to lift himself above the title of 'electronic producer' to the ranks of a truly great and classic musician/composer. The comparison to Sun Ra, Miles Davis and John Cage is not undeserving. his bass improv is incredible: he gets into quite a lot of it. his compositions are musically very complex, his skill at his instrument(s) is phenominal. melodically, this album is great. as usual the programming is amazing.
this album is sort of like music is rotted one note, in the fact that it has a strong live aspect. there is crowd noise sprinkled throughout the whole album, and it plays like one long show. at one point in the very punk-ish 'steinbolt', i forgot i was listening to a 'studio' album. it sounds like tom in concert.
one thing that's interesting about 'ultravisitor' is the fact that he seems to draw from the entire squarepusher catalogue, using samples from tracks 'exploding psychology' and 'come on my selector.' in the track '50 cycles' one wonders if tom is recreating, or sampling a bit from, 'f-train.' in any case, the vocal manipulation is similar.
more mellow, yet more harsh, than other squarepusher releases, and more grounded in technical musical composition/performance, this is a great overall album. it's very moody as well. one song is a gentle lament, the next is an intense breakneck punk'n'bass track. wow. squarepusher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mind melty jazz odyssey, 9 Mar 2004
By 
A. Provan "Bolt Vanderhuge" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
Tom Jenkinson's a musical genius. There really is no argueing with this point even if his output at times has been less than amazing, Selection Sixteen anyone? His last full album, Go Plastic!, done alot to erase the memory of said crime before the mini-album Do You Know Squarepusher almost destroyed that newly reinstated faith, although the title track's maybe the best thing he's done. Advance tracks, ie the stuff that didn't make the final cut for Ultravisitor, suggested that Jenkinson was back to his Big Loada best. The finished article did not dissapoint! A mixture of everything he's done before to create a truelly original experience, Ultravisitor really has to be heard to be believed. It appears to be a live album with people whooping between the mixture of Hard Normal Daddy beats, Music Is Rotted One Note jazz and Autechre style cubist noise and Tom even addressing them at one point, but it's all a trick. It's at times beautiful, at times ugly, but at all times it's compelling, kind of like Tom Jenkinson's carreer really.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Squarepusher does it again!!!, 2 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
Once again Tom Jenkinson has released an absolutely fantasic album he has shown all the different ranges of his skill in this album from his fast complex drum 'n' bass to his slower more emotional ambient jazz put simply it is an amazing album and if you like Squarepusher then buy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Tom Jenkinson, 8 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
Ultravisitor seems like tom jenkinson's attempt to lift himself above the title of 'electronic producer' to the ranks of a truly great and classic musician/composer. The comparison to Sun Ra, Miles Davis and John Cage is not undeserving. his bass improv is incredible: he gets into quite a lot of it. his compositions are musically very complex, his skill at his instrument(s) is phenominal. melodically, this album is great. as usual the programming is amazing.
this album is sort of like music is rotted one note, in the fact that it has a strong live aspect. there is crowd noise sprinkled throughout the whole album, and it plays like one long show. at one point in the very punk-ish 'steinbolt', i forgot i was listening to a 'studio' album. it sounds like tom in concert.
one thing that's interesting about 'ultravisitor' is the fact that he seems to draw from the entire squarepusher catalogue, using samples from tracks 'exploding psychology' and 'come on my selector.' in the track '50 cycles' one wonders if tom is recreating, or sampling a bit from, 'f-train.' in any case, the vocal manipulation is similar.
more mellow, yet more harsh, than other squarepusher releases, and more grounded in technical musical composition/performance, this is a great overall album. it's very moody as well. one song is a gentle lament, the next is an intense breakneck punk'n'bass track. wow. squarepusher.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Squarepusher fan, 15 Mar 2004
By 
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
Excellent. Before I got the album I had the impression that it was going to be totally different from his previous ones. This was because I had read a few reviews that implied this. However, it's not entierly different; yes a lot of the tracks on the album don't sound anything like what he's done before, but it has Jenkinson written all over it. I think it's good that he can use different sounds/instruments etc and still sound like Squarepusher.
'Ultravistor' sounds really grown up and musical - which is a good thing but there is still plenty of weird soundscapes etc. Personally I found some previous tracks of his such as 'My red hot car' a little poppy but this album is altogether excellent. It has a really nice feeling to it and defo worth buying!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultravisited, 29 Sep 2005
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
Squarepusher -- Tom Jenkinson -- stares serenely from the cover of "Ultravisitor," as if he's examining whoever is considering buying it. Surprisingly, it doesn't feel weird. Somehow the cover seems appropriate, as Jenkinson seems to have matured musically in the frantic, beautifully mad newest album, and the calm cover reflects it.

The title song kicks off "Ultravisitor" in a whirlwind of mad bleeps, robotic flashes and breakneck percussion. And that's just the first few minutes -- what follows is a mixture of jazzy solos, a delicate guitar melody, and a halting ambient pop melody that seems uncertain of where exactly it's supposed to go.

About one-third through, Jenkinson gets more expansive, creating a mix of sweeping electronic panoramas and robotic vocals in "50 Cycles." It sounds like a compressed cyberpunk movie. Then he strays deeper into sputtering feedback, buzzing tools, and ghostly creaks. Don't expect a robotic, mad climax -- instead, he chooses to end it with a pair of startlingly delicate little instrumentals.

Squarepusher sounds more polished and sure of himself in this release, as if he has a good grip on what he can do best. It's sparse, cold and metallic at times, but is warmed up by the acoustic instrumentals. Those songs are where Jenkinson sounds least sure of himself, but it gives "Ultravisitor" a gentler tone.

Jenkinson is in fine form as he creates apocalyptic hard electronica, sounding like a robot city imploding on itself. But he also indulges in his love of jazz music, and performs songs that are nothing but a hesitant little solo on an acoustic guitar. It's difficult to believe that these songs are all by the same person, or that Jenkinson could do them all so well.

Squarepusher stretches his boundaries in "Ultravisitor," a more mature album that displays all his musical talents. Definitely worth getting.
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Squarepusher; pushing the envelope., 9 May 2004
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
Squarepusher. Richard D James once said that the Squarepusher is someone who wonders what the holes of a flute sound like without the flute. Sound like sound never sounded before. With ‘Ultravisitor,’ Squarepusher has created sound like sound never sounded before. Straight from the word go, on the albums title track, Tom Jenkinson creates the most amazing music to ever come from a warp artist. The album, ‘Ultravisitor’ is not typical Squarepusher, but then again, there has never been a typical Squarepusher record. He (Squarepusher) has always constantly changed his musical forte, from the early recordings like ‘Hard normal daddy’ and ‘Big Loada,’ with the frenetic drum n bass and rave workouts, up to the later freeform jazz of ‘Music is rotted one note,’ and the off the wall eclectism of ‘Go plastic,’ Squarepusher has always been at the front of a constantly changing electronic scene. ‘Ultravisitor’ is like ‘feed me weird things’ (the ‘pushers’ earliest album) with its perfect mix of jazz, ambience and drum n bass. Unlike ‘Feed me weird things,’ ‘Ultravisitor’ takes a lot of its experimentation from ‘go plastic.’ Where ‘go plastic’ was an album riddled with glitch-hop, break neck drum experimentations, ‘Ultravisitor’ experiments with sound, not via drums, but via bass guitar and keyboards. This is the major difference with ‘Ultravisitor’ compared to Squarepushers’ earlier recordings. Although if you are looking for more of toms’ drum n bass melodies you will not find them here, this is an album completely free of such drum n bass tracks like “I wish you could talk,” and “theme from Ernest Borgnine.” from ‘go plastic’ and ‘feed me weird things,’ respectively. Tom has tied down the side of him that wants to let loose a thousand snare-drum rattles at 200 B.P.M, no, on ‘Ultravisitor,’ Tom has played the whole drum n bass element -of his music- down. There is a lot of brilliant and immaculate drum programming on the album but it is mixed low whilst the bass, synthesisers and sampled loops are far louder, and more predominant than previous records. On Ultravisitor a side of Tom rarely heard is shown, a musical ability to turn every keyboard line into a brilliant song. Previously Tom has had keyboard lines as an underlay with his bass and drumming overlaying it. But now, on Ultravisitor, Toms’ keyboard talents must be finally acknowledged.
My favourite tracks are “Ultravisitor,” “Iambic 9 poetry,” and “tetra-sync.”
The track Ultravisitor is one of the highlights of the album, with its technical drum programming, uncontrolled bass improvisation and incredible euphoric keyboards and chimes. This 8 minute song climaxes by turning itself inside out and slowly builds itself up into a transcendental state with a slow, repeating melody. This, with every repetition adds another layer to the music and eventually becomes so beautiful that you can feel the emotion pouring from Tom. “Iambic 9 poetry” is a more jazz orientated track, but not jazz freeform, here we get simple and chilled out with tom, with its simple drum programming and minimal keyboards, the element to this song is its organic quality. It is just Tom, stripped down to his underwear with a keyboard, bass guitar, drum kit, and a four track recorder. It is a lovely track which is a joy to listen to. “Tetra-sync” it a lot like “Ultravisitor” as it uses keyboards and bass above all other things. But the difference with “Tetra-sync” is that there is more of the album ‘Go plastics’ sonic exploration applied to it. Drums are reverberated and hurled across each speaker, not as readily as ‘Go plastic,’ but far more than on the rest of this album.
Other tracks on this album such as ‘Steinbolt,’ with its dirty, distorted, epileptic keyboards and blast beat drums. Another song which echoes in Squarepushers’ past is “50 cycles”. With its minimal hip-hop grooves, dissected vocals and feedback samples reflecting a longer, minimal “Red hot car” (from ‘Go plastic.’)
The album is superb, and any Squarepusher fan who understands IDM and sound, will absolutely love this album after about 20 listens, as it takes time to understand what’s going on as Squarepusher has taken you to another level of music and sound.
‘Ultravisitor’: sound like sound never sounded before.
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11 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Music is music ?, 8 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
If it's not science then its art and if its art then it either touches you or leaves you unaffected. As and art form, therefore, Squarepusher fully engages me but in the form of repulsion. It grates. It's dreadful. It's Aphex Twin without either the rhythm or the tune. Its a skip full of kitchen appliances falling down the stairs. I fully appreciate that for some this is quintessential and moving stuff but to my ears it's just rubbish and my cat could do better. My loss? Perhaps.
Anyone want an almost unused copy of Ultravisitor? Here, look I'll give you a tenner to take it off my hands.
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0 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Noise, not music, 9 Nov 2006
By 
Mr. K. Hubbard "kevinatkhco" (Glastonbury) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ultravisitor (Audio CD)
For someone who can play a bass guitar like no other, there's an awful lot of everything else in this mix ... just nowhere near enough bass guitar. In fact you are hard pressed to hear a bass guitar, let alone the distinctive playing of this maestro. In my view, a complete waste of money. In fact, I wouldn't keep it in my collection even if someone gave me a fiver to keep it. And it's not that I dislike electronic music ... to the contrary, I really like Laurie Anderson, Death in Vegas, Yello, Robert Fripp, etc, even modern jazz from Sweden and Norway like Bugge Wesselftoft ... but this is just a game in sounds, and misses out on the music.

Definitely not recommended, unless you like to hear the sound of someone pushing the envelope ... I'm sure he put that in there somewhere, along with lots of swooshes and grating sounds.
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Ultravisitor
Ultravisitor by Squarepusher
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