Oh yes. Go Plastic is absolutely the return to form that Tom Jenkinson’s fans have been demanding since Big Loada. I’ll make a personal confession here: I’ve been sorely disappointed by Jenkinsons work ever since Music is Rotted One Note. While I appreciated the fact that he was pushing his boundaries, and exposing a generation of IDM kidz to the joy that can be fusion, his effort ultimately left me cold. It was all just too noodly, too fragmented. Jenkinson just couldn’t pull his ideas together. Selection Sixteen and Maximum Priest were more of the same, except even less cohesive. However, Go Plastic represents the direction the Squarepusher could have taken after Big Loada.
Squarepusher has come to epitomize the drill n’ bass aesthetic. However unfashionable it’s become now — the trend seems to be either hyper-reductionist (read: snd), hyper-sweet (read: Morr Records), or hyper-noisy (read: Kid606) — Jenkinson is sticking to the format that’s brought him worldwide acclaim: lightning quick breaks, complex basslines, and fully whacked-out samples. Jenkinson is a legitimately virtuotic bassist, and here he fully brings his skills to the bear on the structure of the music, especially on “Boneville Occident,” where he uses the bassline to pull the first and second parts of the song together. There’s a ragga influence on Go Plastic, from Yardboy calls on “Go Spastic!” to the massive holes that give dub it’s lasting power. The biggest surprise on the album is the leadoff single, “My Red Hot Car,” though. Jenkinson takes a two-step break, fuses it with the catchiest hook of the year (“I’m going to fuck you with my red hot cock“) and slowly pulls the song apart, using healthy amounts of granular synthesis to drag-rag-ag-g the drums to their breaking point. Is it anywhere near The Artful Dodger’s style of garage? About as close as Captain Beefheart is to Muddy Waters.
With that, I’ll heartily recommend Go Plastic to the legions of Squarepusher fans worldwide, and anyone with a healthy taste in the deliciously skew(er)ed.
Warp Records, 503 8th Ave, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11215; http://www.warprecords.com