Tom Jenkinson is back as Squarepusher – his first new record under that old moniker in nearly half a decade, but it’s a dependable brand and here, inching towards – and sometimes falling right into – the EDM arena he delivers. Once again.
Brittle and brutal he’s capable of a range of electronic compositions from the synth driven and melodic to hard, heavy-hitting drum-machine stuff that has dubstep’s big bottom-line squelch in the mix also.
Damogen Furies feels like both a masterclass from a wizard (Rayc Fire 2) and somebody having a laugh fucking around (Baltang Arg). It is, in that sense, Aphex Twin-like, a desire, no doubt, to prove that he was always there and always had the chops and the current crop of EDM’ers owe something, a debt of some kind to the moody, murky textures effortlessly conjured by Squarepusher; Baltang Ort is a min-epic that feels like the album in précis, Kontenjaz feels like a one-man-super-session-jazz-cat, in fact it sounds like Thundecat delivering his set on a circus merry-go-round.
Exjag Nives is one of the highlights on a strong album – it has a surge to it that is surprisingly danceable and yet there’s all manner of weird, explosive breakbeat madness threatening to squash any semblance of a tune. This is the magic of Squarepusher, that dark and sinister is also accessible.
I know this album’s been out a while and I’m only just catching back up with it – early listens were enjoyable but leaving it on the shelf and returning to it a few months on has given it something extra, or I’m simply able to appreciate the focus and drive of this album. It feels, in part, like an assignment. A test Jenkinson has written and designed for himself. And of course passed with flying colours. Just when I thought I was done with this music, this genre, this area, I’m pulled back in. And happy to go for this ride too.