Friday, September 10, 2010

squarepusher: "the exploding psychology" & "tundra"

I've posted some vids from Tom Jenkinson, better known as Squarepusher before at my blog, but never featured both my favorite Squarepusher track ("Tundra", below), or video ("The Exploding Psychology", above). Next to Richard D. James (Aphex Twin), who I've blogged a lot about, he's one of my favorite musicians. I think his Last FM bio sums up his sound well, which is no easy task: "Tom “Squarepusher” Jenkinson can be broadly described as an electronic musician, though he is perhaps best known for his experimental drum’n’bass with a heavy jazz fusion influence." You can read more about his history on that page as well. It was Richard D. James who actually heard Tom playing live in a club and shortly after, signed him to release his first album, the astoundingly good, appropriately titled "Feed Me Weird Things" on Rephlex in 1996. The eerie epic, orchestral drum n' bass mutation and second track on that album, "Tundra" can be heard below. It's difficult to comprehend someone only in his twenties composing such a massive piece of music, and album for that matter, and with fairly meager means at the time. Throughout his career, Squarepusher would explore a great variety of musical avenues, including live freeform jazz experiments to spazztastic junglist digi-dub stormers ( see "the Exploding Psychology", from 2001's "Go Plastic", above), and currently electro-funk rock, which leads me to his new unreleased album "Squarepusher presents - Shobaleader One - d'Demonstrator" - his first with a band, inspired by a dream he had (noted on his last LP, "Just A Souvinir"). So far, I'm pretty mixed about the two tracks I've heard. I like "Cryptic Motion" a lot, but "Megazine" seems pretty tame and kind of conventional, at least by Squarepusher standards. You can be the judge yourself, since an excellent interview with Tom can be found HERE, as well as the video for "Megazine". The man has always been very honest and real in all of his interviews, and my favorite words from this one include a line referring to the new release: "It's a stand against the affectation of knowing indifference in urban life and its corollary in music. I've always wanted to sabotage coolness as for me music is about laughing and crying, not about standing around smoking cigarettes.". I like the part about sabotaging coolness, as it's something I can personally relate to when creating much of my own art work. In the meantime, spend some time with the one and only genius that is the Squarepusher, preferably with a decent pair of headphones or speakers. Enjoy.