Wednesday, January 13, 1999

Review - Music Is Rotted One Note

Artist: Squarepusher

Posted on Wed, Jan 13, 1999 at 4:00 AM

A recurring complaint about electronic music is that its creators cannot successfully perform live or play "real" instruments. Squarepusher, the brainchild of drum & bass extremist Tom Jenkinson, openly defies this position with "Music Is Rotted One Note." Instead of cranking out a CD of dancer-unfriendly blurps and beats, Squarepusher combines Miles Davis-influenced fusion with Jenkinson's own perverse sampling strategies -- all using instruments rather than a computer.

Jenkinson has always borrowed from legendary jazz drummers such as Art Blakey and Buddy Rich, and it shows on "Note." He lays down Fender Rhodes piano and electric bass over subtle-yet-restless drumming on most of the tracks. The off-tempo jump-cuts from previous Squarepusher releases are heard here, but this time the tangled noises are organic, not sequenced. In fact, the song "My Sound" could be mistaken for an unreleased jam from similar-minded post-rockers Tortoise.

Despite the negativity of this CD's title, Squarepusher is a big step in forward-thinking music.



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