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Squarepusher at Play
on 20 March 2010
This is not simply another Squarepusher album, even after the accessibility and sci-fi kitsch of Hello Everything, I was taken aback by how zany this album sounds; it's like Pusher's Sgt. Pepper's. It's also the album that's most focused on live instruments since Music is Rotted One Note and provides a great alternative to Rotted One Note for people wanting to hear Jenkinson's virtuoso playing but who haven't been able to get to grips with that album (for which I don't blame them, although it is a masterpiece after some perseverance).
For Squarepusher as a producer I'd say this could be his best, the merging of live and electronic sounds is more seamless and ingeniously put to use than ever before, for the best example listen to Potential Govaner; perhaps the most brilliantly crafted track on the album, even if it verges on flashy you'd have to be a cold person not to enjoy it.
The downside of this album though is that among the high points there are too many ambling interludes of Tod Dockstader influenced psychedelic classical guitar, which are interesting initially but really don't hold up and other unfortunate lows like the strangely grating new wave/cyber jazz song A Real Woman.
The album's biggest differentiator is the presence of rock music, okay, Do You Know had a Joy Division cover and Visitor had Steinbolt's digital metal but Pusher's never explored rock as much or in as pure a form as on this album. The results are fantastic; Delta V is great for its fuzzing, pounding rhythms and its mechanical sounding breakdown that holds host to a seriously good beat and undeniably satisfying bass fills. Then Planet Gear is a blissfully bombastic piece of space age rock with a grin inducingly uplifting refrain, I'd say it's among his best tunes.