After some diverse stylistic swerves over the past few years, Squarepusher is now back in something approaching a typical style. He's moved on in some ways and kept key parts of his idiosyncratic sound intact. There's a positive split between the first half which moves around hip-hop and dubstep tempos while colliding with bombastic synth orchestrations and manic production, before "RedAand Blue" dramatically pauses the fun to open the flood gates to the Squarepusher you know and love. There's a dizzying amount of junglist attitude, sound design geekery and all out sonic terror shot through with a dark mood last found on Do You Know Squarepusher.
Given how damn prolific Tom Jenkinson is, it's hard to believe Damogen Furies is the first Squarepusher album in three years. Issued through regular hub Warp, Damogen Furies is the thirteenth Squarepusher album and in order to keep things fresh Jenkinson apparently decided to record all the tracks in one take without any subsequent edits. He's quoted as using words like brutal and visceral in the sales notes and those are definitely feelings that come up when listening to Damogen Furies. The opening two tracks "D Frozen Aac" and "Kwang Bass" which sound like Daft Punk pulled backwards through a vacuum and an arcade machine desiccated respectively, set the tone for the album as a whole. Very Squarepusher.
Following on from his Ufabulum long player dropped last year, Squarepusher lets the accompanying Enstrobia EP breathe on its own with a separate digital release. "Angel Integer" sees Tom Jenkinson in euphoric synth pop mode, rinsing his love of bombastic melodies for all their worth, with a high drama breakdown and build-up thrown in for good measure. "Panic Massive" goes even further into electro histrionics, tapping into some Daft Punk-esque vocoder action over the deliberately budget funk. Clearing the slate of such accessible notions, "40.96a" comes in a live squall of experimental noise and texture. Recorded live at the Green Man festival, it's a visceral antidote to the cheery pop tones of the rest of the EP.
Tom Jenkinson is back in town and on utterly deadly form after some years in a strange jazz-funk-pop no mans land. If you love Squarepusher for his tearout electronica tendencies, then this track will make you very happy indeed. Harking back to Do You Know Squarepusher, there's elegant pads and dramatic synth work getting harassed on all sides by nasty digital squelches and squiggles, all grooving to a low-slung tempo. In bombastic fashion a staggered breakdown gives way to an epic breakbeat crescendo that just keeps on intensifying over seven minutes. It sounds like Squarepusher giving his fans what they want and having a great time in the process.
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