Selection Sixteen


Basses quake in their cases when they dream of Tom Jenkinson. The force behind Squarepusher, Jenkinson is the kind of bass player that makes even the moderately talented thumper feel like tossing their instrument in the dumpster in despair. Take for example “Freeway,” a brief interlude of jazz bass amidst the digital dexterity. Snaking out of the speakers like a lost track out of Heavy Weather , you’ll swear the spirit of Jaco Pastorious has invaded your stereo. Surrounding this minute-and-a-half gem are some of the unlikeliest candidates for an analog prodigy, scrambled fragments of sound that defy identification, like “Schizm Track #1” where a jaunty detective melody appears to pixellate itself apart as it tries to make its flight. Squarepusher jams its peg in that round hole repeatedly and successfully, blurring the line between live and digital, jazz and electronic, music and texture, sound and engineering. I’d declare it years ahead of its time, if only I thought the future would sound as good as this.

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