Including synths and timbres even more polished and club appropriate than 2012’s ‘Ufabulum’, Squarepusher’s latest effort channels nigh Dan Deacon levels of upbeat, electronic oddity. A million miles away from sedate tracks like ‘Tundra’ and ‘red hot car’, Damogen Furies is a 1000 mile an hour mind melter, synthesised from the extremes of several staples of dance. Though it seems to lack the raw insanity present in albums like ‘Just a Souvenir’, the production level and inventiveness are in attendance as ever.
Stor Elglass; An opener titled and introduced in a way that further justifies his being a name always shortly followed by that of Aphex Twin, quickly pulls a U-turn breaking into a poppy, almost chip-tune break, though maintains enough changes and psuedo intelligence to keep up appearances, but in places seems to use timbres far too modern to compliment his pieces, as earlier works had done so well.
Baltang Ort opens in a much more ethereal and seemingly intellectual swell before being startled by aggressive synth growl stabs, though this sets the tone for the track, it merges and imagines itself into several different worlds. In ways similar to Stor Elglass seems to almost take a stab at incorporating the the more Americanised and post-Rusko side of Dub, though the inherently Warp manipulation of beats and production keep it toeing the line of what longstanding Squarepusher listeners are likely to expect.
Rayc Fire 2 is Similarly Bi Polar in its use of updated Acid House instruments and its attempts to give them some sense of avant garde, experimental intelligence. Erratic, short key chord, sample stabs stutter and soon lose any ounce of charm or grab they had, while spring reverberant growls occasionally weigh in with modulated resonance, it seems somewhat like an experiment in using minimal instruments and chords, yet producing it in a way that it still changes and evolves, though this evolution if present at all, does little to make itself evident. In contrast to the ever innovative transitions in 1996’s ‘Feed Me Weird Things’, this is a little disappointing.
Kontenjaz does more to confirm these horrible suspicions that in spite of the occasional use of old tricks this genuinely is mostly cool uncle Squarepusher telling you he knows who Skrillex is, the occasional piece of modulation and structure change drags it back in to experimental territory, but to the untrained ear would probably just be ‘filth’.
Exjag Nives continues in a similar vein, though somehow feels more like a natural progression from ‘Ufabulum’ than the rest of this album, its warped and automated flow presenting a much more balanced approach at innovating with such over familiar sounds.
On the whole I’d say diehard Squarepusher fans (particularly of his more recent work) will enjoy this album, for those hoping to catch his more ambient/ trip hop esque work, however will probably just leave this album disappointed. That said, this just continues Squarepusher’s eclectic back catalogue and further proves he’s not out of ideas yet.
Words: Jake Williams