Sounds Like:

Dan Willis

Squarepusher, one of the preeminent figures in electronic music to emerge in the last 10 years, recently released “Hello Everything,” his eighth full-length album for the U.K.-based independent label Warp.
With Squarepusher as his performing moniker, the reclusive and often testy Tom Jenkinson refuses genre classification, combining elements of drill ‘n’ bass, ambient electronic, jazz fusion, splatterfunk electric bass and his own relentless pursuit of the unknown to create an energetic, mind-bending orgy of electronic recalcitrance.
You could roughly characterize his career as a dialectic of expansion of his own boundaries.
As a listener, just when you think you’ve got him pinned as a drum ‘n’ bass breakbeat visionary on one album, the next album might profile him as a bleak soundscapist or dancefloor beatster. His career goes back and forth like this, with periodic reprisals of past works.
“Hello Everything” finds Squarepusher at perhaps a rhythmic point of coagulation in his career. Jenkinson claims in interviews that the title of the album is not indicative of a narrative within the album, but a few listens give you the impression of Jenkinson sonically waving hello to all of his past work.
The album features something for all of his fans.
The first track “Hello Meow” is a return to his roots in jazz bass playing, which is so impressive on this album that it has led some to proclaim Jenkinson as one of the world’s greatest bassists.
But he doesn’t merely noodle around over a vacuous two chord-rock progression, but rather weaves his tastefully complex improvisations around an elegantly expressive melody amidst a backdrop of alter-ego synth-basses and rushing snare drums.
A delightfully cheery cavort follows next in “Theme from Sprite.” The ensemble of bass, drum kit, glockenspiel, cheesily bright synth-string section, and classical guitar play an easy funk jaunt that sounds like something you might hear at a String Cheese Incident concert.
“Planetarium” offers a haunting and undeniably European-sounding melody over a relentless flurry of drum ‘n’ bass counterpoint. The melodic structure infuses a sense of propulsive inevitability, so that the tension of the song feels consummated when the melody arrives at its resolution.
The curious bit of spacey soundsmanship in “Vacuum Garden” sits like an evolving and cleansing yawn in the middle of this album. It’s a bit tricky, though; on one hand the beatless and formless ambience of the slowly lolling hills of sine waves force the listener to empty their mind, clear out any clutter and let the ghostly haze simply wash over them.
On the other hand, it makes the album feel like it should end. It is difficult to stay focused and demands an extremely challenging shift in listening stance. This difficulty may have been what Jenkinson sought – a roadblock to the lazy listener. However, it borders on a pacing train wreck in the middle of the album.
The second half of the album gains serious momentum and offers a coherent and compelling showcase of Jenkinson’s drum programming pyrotechnics and jazzy melodic deconstruction.
Overall, the album finds Squarepusher at his most polished from a production standpoint and his most concise and mature from a compositionally.

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