Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SQUAREPUSHER: Hello Everything (Warp Records)

SQUAREPUSHER
Hello Everything
WARPCD148CD
Warp Records 2006
12 Tracks. 63mins41secs




Buy it: Ltd Edition CD | CD | LP
Warp Records

Four years ago, Tom Jenkinson was asking 'Do You Know Squarepusher?' If the album that hid behind this title lured you to think that you did, think again. With his eighth album in eleven years, Tom Jenkinson shakes off his compulsive beats and driving grooves in favour of a much more chilled and eclectic sound.

Tom Jenkinson burst out on the electronic scene in the mid nineties with a series of EPs for Spymania, Rephlex and Worm Interface, and a debut album published on Richard D James's Rephlex. A seasoned self-taught bass player and drummer, Jenkinson's particular blend of experimental drum'n'bass dipped in a bubbling bath of digital jazz and acid house and his seminal live performances rapidly brought him a huge following, Since, he has cleverly set the pace for his contemporaries with each new release by cleverly dodging expectations.

Hello Everything marks the most radical revision of the Squarepusher template since Music Has Rotted One Note. While there are echoes of the frenetic electro-bop of past releases, more prominently on Hello Meow, Planetarium, Welcome To Europe, Plotinus or The Modern Bass Guitar, the emphasis has overall switched to the melodic aspect of Jenkinson's work, revealing in the process more than ever his spotless production skills. Here, Tom Jenkinson scatters jazz crumbs in the most conspicuous way (Theme From Sprite, Bubble Life, Rotate Electrolyte), injects elements of folk on the wonderfully delicate Circlewave 2, revives his interest for avant-garde sonic explorations on Vacuum Garden and Orient Orange, scissors his way through epic rhythmic patterns and febrile synthetic waves on Plotinus, all with the same consistency and devotion.

As the title suggests, highlighted by a selection of pictures of instruments ranging from an acoustic guitar and a drum machine to a xylophone, a drum kit and a bass guitar, all played by the same person, the ubiquitous Tom Jenkinson is once again responsible for playing every last instrument on here and also assumes full production duties. This certainly contributes to Hello Everything feeling extremely consistent, despite the varied approach adopted. Here, Jenkinson appears more liberated and opened to new influx of ideas. Rumours has it that he is, since the release of Ultravisitor, free from contractual duties with Warp, which could have contributed to the liberated feel of this album. Whatever the reason, Tom Jenkinson has produced with Hello Everything his most accomplished record since Music Has Rotted One Note, and perhaps his best record to date.

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