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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's back!
Hate to start this review on a negative note but this needs to be said: I didn't like Squarepusher's last two albums, not even a little bit. I found the last record unlistenable, vocoder Zap! style vocals saying a whole lot of nothing over some technically accomplished but soulless funk and pop, nothing challenging or dangerous or new about it at all. The record before...
Published on 18 May 2012 by Octo7

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An album of two halves...
Squarepusher's latest album Ufabulum... It came out about a year ago and I've been listening to it on and off since. As a whole. the album feels very much an album of two halves, split right down the middle, showcasing arguably some of his best work and some of his most uninspiring.
The first track feels very much like it's designed to be euphoric and uplifting, but...
Published 23 months ago by Andrew Taylor


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This isn't just another 'Squarepusher' release.., 16 May 2012
By 
This review is from: Ufabulum (Audio CD)
I haven't heard Squarepusher in this mood since Hard Normal Daddy (1997). The shiny production presented here in Ufabulum of 2012 is truly incredible; a masterclass in timbre dynamics, fresh rhythmic creativity and an overflowing pot of idea diversity. Tom has jammed a wealth of durable listening material into a very appealing number of 10 consumable tracks, demonstrating to his die-hard fans that the divine spirited 'Beep Street' maker is still very much breathing and hasn't drowned by experiment.

Of course, like many original fans; we are hugely selfish and biased in our opinion of what Tom is doing and why. Being an artist myself; I don't beat the guy over the head and if you're a true fan, you'll have a 'yes' answer to the question he asked all of us.. Do you know Squarepusher? If you do, you'll grasp his innate tendency as an artist to morph, re-invent and stay current. Style-thieves will come a croppa with the likes of 'The Metallurgist' which sets an extremely high bar to follow.

Would this album be as special after a string of Hard Normal Daddy's? I doubt it. Would his versatility of production or quality of sound palette be as quaint or beautifully alien to your ears now without the Ultravisitor's or Shobaleader's? I doubt that too. The sweet is never as sweet without the sour. Good means nothing without bad.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form, 12 April 2013
This review is from: Ufabulum (Audio CD)
After being guttingly dissapointed by the Shobaleader One project, I was prepared for the worst so this album came as a very pleasant surprise. After years of live instrument focused ventures like Just a Souvenir, Solo Electric Bass 1 and Shobaleader, Squarepusher finally has swung right back across the broad spectrum of his music to revisit and update his purely electronic sound, as such some comparisons to Go Plastic are abound although the style and approuch of Ufabulum is quite radically different.

Gone are the sample based (often amen) breakbeats, on this album you can hear each individual drum sound has been placed by itself and manipulated with care, often ride cymbals slide and blur in strange, silky flurries. The first half of the album is laced with the kind of medlodic focus that's come into play since Hello Everything, particularly on the accessable and funky tracks Stadium Ice and Energy Wizard. The towering moments of side one however are the first 2 tracks, 4001 begins with a great beat, goes on to show Pusher hasn't lost his penchant or talent for acid basslines and then explodes into a chorus of furious, driving, effervescent trance with an infectious beat that keeps renewing it's assault every few bars. Unreal Square is classic Squarepusher mocking genre parody, like My Red Hot car was for 2 step but this time it's Dubstep he has in his sights, the cheesy orchestral refrain (so cheaply employed so often by dubstep producers) is one of the album's most jarring moments but it works and is well placed as a final middle finger before the twisted sonic blitzkrieg of the track's breakdown.

The album's second half will perhaps be more immediately pleasing to many Squarepusher fans as The Metellurgist takes things into darker territories, Drax 2 then seems like a natural centrepiece for the record with it's slow tense build as acid basslines seem to gather force and cinematic dark ambience climbs omenously up through the mix until it reaches it's final brief but thunderous attack. If one track's going to sell this record it's Dark Steering, apparently the soundtrack to Jenkinson's visions of nuclear apocolypse, it certainly fits that bill, somehow terrifying and uplifting at the same time and those shreikng engine sounds. The approiately titled 303 Scopem Hard is psychopathic sounding industrial funk at it's finest and the finale Ecstatic Shock reconciles the melodic lighter shades of the first side with the darker, winding beats of the second into one last brilliant blast of avant dancefloor madness, cohesive but packed with so many different ideas just like all his best work.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Squarepusher doesn't take the easy route with yet another `difficult' album., 17 May 2012
This review is from: Ufabulum (Audio CD)
Squarepusher returns with his new album `Ufabulum', and as ever Squarepusher doesn't take the easy route with yet another `difficult' album.

An uninspiring glitchy melody starts '4001', which soon erupts into a pretty catchy synth-funk euphoric trance track. But then things start to go wrong, `Unreal square' has an annoying gameboy melody intro which slowly evolves for the better before reverting back to type and then totally loses all coherence with an IDM - Drum n Bass - Hyper-funk mess. "Stadium Ice' is a pretty apt title, as Squarepusher goes into full-on Stadium Synth indulgence mode. It progressively gets worse with even more synth-rave ecstasy in `Energy Wizard'. You know he's poking fun, but there are limits to your patience!

`Red in Blue' halts the ultra-good vibes with a more sombre track, but its still not very interesting. The darker tones start to seep through with the complex dark-step metallica of `The Metallurgist', complete with twisted acid bass-lines, which just about works as a track. `Dark Steering' continues with similar acidic and metallic assaults, and `Drax 2' builds on the earlier dark-step and slowly morphs into a deconstructivist fourth-dimensional sonic epic. The rave euphoria returns in the penultimate `Ecstatic Shock' before we end with the brittle '303 Scopem Hard', showcasing Squarepushers extraordinary bass-playing over another completely wigged-out electronica extravaganza.

This first half of `Ufabulum', i.e. the `lighter' side of Squarepusher is jarring, the second and much darker half of the album has a better appreciation of the incredible deconstructive musical combinations which mark Squarepushers best work. There's no questioning Mr Pushers technical prowess, but his `all-in' approach has always led to inconsistent releases. When the music works, like on '4001 and `Drax 2' then Squarepusher is a real pleasure. But when it doesn't work, as on half of this album, its an incoherent, annoying mess.

Its as if Squarepushers trying to out-do the new pretender to his crown Rustie, who's 2011 debut `Glass Swords' had the same interminable inconsistencies. The trouble is that Squarepusher is well into his career and he hasn't really veered much from his asymmetrical musical path, here's waiting for a real about-turn on his next album.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good album, but Amazon quality of audio is poor, 10 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ufabulum (MP3 Download)
Good album, but Amazon quality of audio is poor. Tempted to go get it from "elsewhere" (Even though I paid for it) as it really isn't good enough.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back Squarepusher, 16 May 2012
By 
M. Kyst (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ufabulum (Audio CD)
Latest offering from Squarepusher is a return to form. No more experimental jazz, pure electronic perfection. My favourites are at present 4001, Dark Steering and Ecstatic Shock. Recomended to all lovers of quality electronic music.
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Ufabulum
Ufabulum by Squarepusher (Audio CD - 2012)
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