Do You Know Squarepusher / Live In Japan
label: warp
production: tom jenkinson
year of release: 2002
 
I can use a bunch of words to describe this album, but I really recommend you just buy it and listen to it. Preferably on headphones (big ones, not those 'Fontopia' things) to get any idea of what it's really like. Since you asked, I think it's a great, fun, electronic splattergun of an album, highly enjoyable while stoned and proof that avant-garde can be fun too (The Beatles kind of proved that already, hmm, I digress). But you might see things differently. You might see it as a humorous riposte or cheeky tribute to the UK Garage scene, like a mutant cousin kept in the cellar cowering behind the crates of Dom and harbouring unsavoury fantasies. It might come as a bit of sharp, punkish relief to you after labelmate Aphex Twin's last double opus. You might consider it business as usual for the 'pusher, continuing the fast-edit drill 'n' bass with which he made his name. Hell, you might even think it's just a load of noisy shite. But then you'd just be cloth-eared, albeit entitled to your opinion, you cloth-eared git.

tracklisting
Disc 1
1. Do You Know Squarepusher
2. F-Train
3. Kill Robock
4. Anstromm-Feck 4
5. Conc 2 Symmetriac
6. Mutilation Colony
7. Love Will Tear Us Apart
Disc 2
1. Alive In Japan (10 Tracks)
All right, I'll expand further: It's a short, well-edited album. Some of the tunes on this are speedy and aggressive, featuring muffled, semi-intelligible raps and hyperkinetic, intricate beats. These are my favourite. Others resemble the early electronic experimentation of Stockhausen and Xenakis twisted into new shapes and sonorities. These are also good. Then to conclude we have a version of Joy Division's tragic anthem "Love Will Tear Us Apart" featuring hushed vocals from the 'pusher himself, Tom Jenkinson. As you can imagine, he isn't an easy guy to second-guess or categorise.
A few years back, I was walking about in Manchester with some friends. We turned idly towards what looked like a shop window but was in fact a bar, and there was Squarepusher with his beard, bass and a bunch of equipment, making head-bending noises for the patrons of said establishment. I've no particular point to make with that anecdote, it just makes me smile. Oh yeah, buy the album and you get a free 'Live In Japan' CD which features some wicked shouting and feedback.
review: joe stannard (kilamuk@yahoo.com)
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