Squarepusher – Hello Everything
Reviewed by Rowan Blair Colver
2006 was the year Tom Jenkinson created the 10th Squarepusher album, Hello Everything. The leap of dynamic and scope involved from the earlier material is epic. It is clear this impassioned and talented musician has taken the world of creativity in full stride, gathering everything as he goes. Perhaps the title is in homage to this process, a nod in the direction of accumulated skill.
The fun and quirky Hello Meow, our first experience when pressing the all-powerful play button, was picked up by the Adult Swim television network and was used to promote one of their shows. Taking frantic breaks and drum loops, adding layers of organic instrumental flurries then merging them with sampling and clever mixing, the first track is a clear demonstration of ability and wisdom, as it sounds amazing.
Nu jazz elements pick up from where the old skool variety left off. Where we are occasionally left wondering what happened to the melody or timing, the use of electronic mastery and clever dubbing allows us to make sense of a lot more of the emotive element behind the genre. There is a lot of jazz in this album, it partially hides behind the technology but continues as a strong theme.
Periods of drone and frequency variation break up the swelling currents of grandeur which build from the skeletal formants of something spliced into a computer. By utilizing so many colours of sound with all manner of natural instruments along with the synthetic digital varieties, the full rainbow of expression can be felt and heard.
Nothing quite stays the same, head banging techno merges into orchestral rides of splendour and back again seemingly without effort, and the music drifts around much like a mechanical boat on a dream world ocean of drum sounds and pads. The human soul of the musician is not lost; melody and creativity play major parts in every aspect. The sculpted element of each track shows clear attention to detail, love and time consuming polishing and reworking, just for the spot on delivery.
A worthy compendium of skill-sets, knowledge and experience has obviously been the basis for this album, taking work from each aspect of his previous efforts and showing what time and effort can do to it, Hello Everything is a remarkable record, if you’re new to Squarepusher, one which is a good starting point. If you recall his more acid techno work then this will inspire you to re-visit some excellent offshoots, this being something rather special on its own.
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