Music Reviews




Squarepusher (Tom Jenkinson), one of the most idiosyncratic and indefinable artists of contemporary IDM, returns with another confusing, disparate and utterly impressive album, fully demonstrating his love of irreverent techno music and mutilated jazz fusion. Ultravisitor, for all its musical brilliance, is no starting place for the uninitiated listener, this being perhaps his most challenging and disturbingly odd album yet.

Where former albums, especially since he first rose above the IDM underground with 1999’s Music is Rotted One Note, have attempted to meld Jenkinson’s disparate influences within the context of contemporary electronica, Ultravisitor sees him displaying this disparity more clearer than before, often dedicating entire songs to smooth jazz, long drum or bass solos (his instruments of choice, besides the computer) and extended free-form fusion electronica, even adding sounds from a live audience to stress the loose, almost jammy feel of the album.

At nearly 80 minutes, this album is exhausting and utterly bewildering at first, and you’ll probably need to go a few rounds with it only to get your head around it. But Ultravisitor’s seeming lack of coherency is anything but; this is Jenkinson driving himself to new heights of musical realization, demonstrating what a complex and complete artist he has become. He is in a position where he’s able to do exactly what he pleases, and thankfully, he uses that position to challenge both himself and his listeners rather than merely to rehash old ideas.

Warp Records:

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