Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
on 18 May 2012
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 that, Just a Souvenir, had three decent tracks, the rest just didn't do it for me, I hated the vocals and the faux pop-rock style of it all. I did however enjoy the Numbers Lucent EP.
The new album is a refreshing departure from recent explorations. It's far more electronic sounding, the most all-out electronic Squarepusher album since Selection Sixteen, which is arguably his most solid album to my ears after Music Is One Rotted Note. It's not super-challenging like Ultravisitor, nor is it OTT and grating like Go Plastic. It's also really upbeat! Especially the first half of the record, tunes are downright happy, and although I like when Squarepusher is moody and dark and experimental, he knows how to make really joyful and happy music too. But don't worry for there is a little darkness and experimentation on here too, Drax 2 being a good example of that, and arguably the best song on the record. There are other great standout tunes like the album's opener 4001, the acid madness of Scopem Hard 303, or the amazing soundtrack to some non-existent videogame in Stadium Ice. Dark Steering needs a mention too, a mish-mash of race-car engine sounds, the roland 303, and SP's crazy timing.
So Squarepusher fans, if you really dug his previous two records then you might not like this one so much. If you like his more electonic-sounding stuff, and especially if you're into the 303, you will like this album. I'd say personally that it's his best record since Ultravisitor,and although it doesn't have anything like the incredible Iambic 9 poetry, as an album it's more listenable from start to finish than Ultravisitor and perhaps any of his other albums.
For people who are new to Squarepusher, this is probably an ideal starting place as it's rather accessible but still gives a taster of Mr Jenkinson's more extreme and experimental side.