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on 8 December 2009
I gave this a 4 rating for the live CD alone. I feel that the album proper is very weak though. The title track is the definite highlight on this release, but the remainder of the album is definitely below standard for Jenkinson. He doesn't appear to have ventured into new territories sonically, and composition-wise the structure of the tunes remains predictably spasticated, but lacking any signs of a new or different formula.
On the other hand the live CD is an absolute belter. Yeh, the recording quality is cack, but so was the 'Jeff Mills live at the Liquid Rooms' and this doesn't detract from the performance whatsoever (it reminds me a little of listening to bootleg copies of raves when I was younger, poor quality but full on). 'My F**king Sound' and 'Do You Know...' get your hairs on end, whilst the opener ('Conc 2 Symmetriac') to the set is a wash of abstraction needed before the onslaught (and this is certainly recognised by the very vocal crowd
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on 5 October 2002
Ok, I love squarepusher. I would even say he's my favorite electronic musician in the world... even more than the genius, Aphex Twin! I'm even an openminded lover of artists from john cage to schoenberg to aphex's and squarepusher's most trying and experimental tracks. However, this album seems to me to have so much experimental stuff, that it drowns out and distorts any real, new musical message or argument. Now, previous albums of SP's were balanced, but this seems to be pushing the limits of listenability. The live CD on the album is it's highlight in my opinion as it demonstrates the excitement of seeing SP live. Being in the midwest of the US, I've never had a chance to see him live, so it's great to hear what it's like. The reverb quality of the recording is also very interesting in itself... makes it sound more real.... and the crowd, although sounding like it's somewhere in the 20's, seems to be lost in a universe of SquarePusher's making... they are totally under his control. In the first track, you know you are into something when some annonymous person screams out, "What's going on???".
i would give it an overall 5 if it weren't for the lack of more melodic oriented tracks (like the many on all of his previous albums). Perhaps with more time and listenings, his new stuff will grow on me and I will understand and appreciate it more... perhaps i don't know squarepusher after all. He's still the best out there. I recommend it highly. I just want to say too, that my fav album of his: Music is Rotted One Note... check it out if you haven't already --it may be one of the most important musical works of the century.
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on 1 October 2002
Wow. This is a total must-have for squarepusher fans and new ears alike. CD#1 is very typical squarepusher, more schitzophrenic beats [faster than anything since big loada] followed by the occasional creepy minimal beatless music that wouldn't sound out of place in a david lynch movie. Tom uses more vocals than he usually does, giving a very similar sound to 'red hot car' in parts. Typically though, all the vocals are completely and gorgeously soaked in various fx. The album sounds a little more approachable than some previous efforts [some of the more 'difficult' tracks on go plastic immeadiately spring to mind]and the final track, a remix of the classic 'love will tear us apart' is amazing, although maybe a little out of place. Now we move on to cd#2, which, according to amazon is track 8, but is actually 10 live tracks recorded in japan last year. This is the CD that deserves 6 out of 5 stars. It is completely mind bending. Taking tracks from cd#1, big loada, go plastic and some new [i think] ones as well, Tom effortlessly brings the audience into a climax time and time again, following ridiculously frantic tracks with, well, basically noise, then yelling at the crowd at the top of his voice to 'get ready to go full speed' [he sounds like he's about to cough up a lung he's shouting so hard] before splitting the ear drums of everyone in the room with Anstromm-Feck 4, my personal favourite from cd#1. Genius. Listening on my headphones, it felt like everyone on the train to work was there at the gig with me. Absolutely fantastic.
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on 4 March 2004
I won't lie to you, this isn't the easiest album to get in to. This is almost my first trip into the world of Squarepusher, my previous experience being limited to hearing "We Are Reasonable People", and thinking I must get this track. If you like Aphex, mixed with a bit of LFO, twisted together with the freakier bits of the Orb and a nice slice of Goldie - then this is for you. In fact that does it a disservice, since this is a music all of its own. Fanbloodytastic.
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on 28 December 2003
When I first heard the title track of this record when Jenkinson released it as the untitled 12", I thought we were all about to witness a complete turnaround for the crazy overlord of electronica... an abandonment of the inaccessible noisescapes which haunted much of previous release "Go Plastic" - in favour of real, concrete melodies and harmonies and even vocals being given the SP treatment in what could have been the record of the millennium. So when I first listened to the whole album I was somewhat surprised.
Squarepusher blows all expectations of his music to pieces here. The music is impossible to describe - in fact I can't even really say whether I like it or not. In fact the question "do I like this?" when applied to this record seems to call for a third answer: not yes, not no... something else entirely... In fact, the only conclusion I can draw from my repeated listenings of this record is that all attempts to classify, qualify, analyse or interpret this music are completely futile. This music is untouchable to the human mind - all you can do is listen, listen, listen, until you go mad, or until your neighbours come round and beat you with a big stick.
Having said that, I think a real high point in the record comes at the end of the penultimate track, Mutilation Colony. Having squeezed your brain through a technological juicer, Jankinson makes it suddenly apparent that what you're listening to started life as a recorded drum set. Then the whole thing goes completely wild and finishes with you lying on the floor in a foetal position not knowing what the hell's happened and where on earth anyone can really go from here... and then, almost gleefully, it launches into Love Will Tear Us Apart.
To say this music is difficult is a moot point - those of us whose LP collections consist mainly of Warp releases aren't in search of an easy ride, and anyone considering buying this record with that intention should leave well alone. I like to be challenged, however, and I have to say this record presents me with more of an aural, conceptual and spiritual challenge than any other I have ever heard, hence I can't give it anything other than five stars, because nearly 2 years on I'm still being challenged, and I'm really nowhere nearer to being able to answer the question of whether I actually ENJOY this music or not!
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on 15 October 2002
If you dont know squarepusher, think of Drum and bass mixed with a BBC sci fi sound effects cd, sped up 4 times, and constructed whilst on LSD, you may be half way there. Yet this is just one side to the man Tom Jenkinson (sqaurepusher.)
This album opens with the amazing "Do You Know Squarepusher" like some elctronica version of waht Jim Morrison was trying to do in the 60's with his poetry over music thing. Track 4 (Astromn Feck 4) really stands out, and almost matches "come on my selector" for hecticness. "love will tear us apart" had so much potential cheese factor, in theory, but to listen is another awesome experience altogether.
CD2 ("Alive in Japan") is even better, featuring tracks from Big Loada, Go Plastic, and Do You Know. After listening to the live cd I found listening to Go Plastic (personally, a dificult album to get into) a far more rewarding experience than I ever used to. Most hectic recording of SQP i have ever heard.
Amazing album from an amazing man. Buy It, party to it, and scream at everyone to "F***ing come on, Dance" at the most random hectic bits.
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on 4 December 2002
I was quite looking forward to this album, hoping it might be better than Go Plastic, which was ok but often reduced itself to just noise for no reason at all. I'm personally more into Go Plastic or perhaps Budakhan Mindphone and that kind of Squarepusher material. I bought the Untitled single on vinyl because I didn't realise it would be released on this album, then later found out that I'd wasted my money because it's on here. However, I hoped that the rest of the album would follow suit because the track Do You Know Squarepusher is incredible, possibly the best Squarepusher track ever.
The rest of the album isn't much like that at all. Unfortunately, out of the remaining six tracks, two are simply experimental noise similar to Metteng Excuske V.1.2 or Tommib from Go Plastic, which maybe make some sort of sense after several listenings but I doubt it, two are actually music of some description, and the last track is a cover of Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart which sounds pretty much the same as the original but not as good at all.
The two other tracks that are somewhat musical are fairly experimental but still listenable and even something that you may get into after the initial listen. I particularly like track 2, which features some sort of semi-rap about physics (I think) which continues throughout.
The live CD is probably the factor that saves the album. I was dissapointed that almost all the tracks are off Go Plastic, but they're all done so well live that it didn't really matter. The only problem is that after about two thirds of the way through it gets a bit too harsh listening to that much harsh noise (and I listen to Atari Teenage Riot and Alec Empire etc.), but I suppose some people can take it, and you don't have to listen to the whole thing at once.
I think this album is probably more suited to people who are already into Squarepusher. I would reccomend earlier albums to people who haven't heard him before, my personal favourites being (as mentioned above) Big Loada and Budakhan Mindphone.
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on 29 September 2003
I was a bit disappointed with squarepusher's new offering. I was compelled to buy the album after hearing the 'do you know squarepusher' single, and thinking "OMG.. this is amazing!!" which it was.. one of his best without a doubt.
Now there are some good songs on this album, but not enough. It's just not consistent, there are no substantial tracks apart from the first one.
Some tracks seem promising. Namely the spooky 'kill robok', which ultimately doesnt go anywhere. 'Mutilation colony' is lush.. very nice. I laughed at 'Anstromm-Feck 4', i know SP is a practicing satirist, but this is just taking the piss. It's a super high tempo drillnbass affair, but with a cringeworthy arabian style bassline over the top... nah.
So, if you're going to spend your money, then buy this only if you've tried and tested each of jenkinson's other offerings first.
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on 12 January 2006
This is a great disappointment of an album. The whole thing seems too easy. Jenkinson has done this in his sleep,pushing it out to make a bit more money. An arrogant album.
If you don't agree listen to Ultravisitor (the next one) and you will.
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