Tom Jenkinson, AKA The Pusher of The Four Right Angles, otherwise known as Sqaurepusher, is evolving as swiftly as the Artificial Intelligence that will ultimately herald man’s untimely demise. Jenkinson, true to form, has (probably) unintentionally provided the soundtrack for said forthcoming dystopian scenario with his latest release Damogen Furies. He’s been around the block, that’s for sure. He knows what he’s at, another certainty, and he’s come a long way from the ‘Do You Know Squarepusher?’ or the ‘Hello Everything’ days. Damage Furies, in fact, displays a complete dichotomy to his earlier dabbles in strange, jazz-fusion tinged electronica. What it also displays though, is Jenkinson’s complete and utter devotion to pushing the boundaries of electronic music production.
After all, this is a record that has, in a way, been 10 years in the making. The mission statement is simple – Tom Jenkinson wanted to make a record that was totally comprised of his own programming; a rejection so to speak, of the “off-the-shelf instruments and the limitations that come with them” as well as each track completed live in one sitting. Damagon Furies, then, is an exercise in creative originality and sonic experimentation that relies on the guidelines long upheld by its creator. What’s more, despite the rather complex approach, there is an accessibility to Damogen Furies that is a surprising twist. ‘Stor Eiglass’ or ‘Rayc Fire 2’ for example, are tracks that tow the line between Skrillex (I know) style bass-breaks and uplifting, synthesiser led melodies. To call it a pop-orientated approach would be sacrilege to Jenkinson’s legacy, but there are certainly moments where the classic Squarepusher syncopations are dispensed with in favour of tracks that build and balance-out in a more conventional mode.
The charm of the olden-days isn’t completely lost though, and fanboys (this critic included) can and will attest to this. There are times when Damogen Furies is as blistering as it is compelling. ‘Exjag Nives’ for example is as kaleidoscopic and aurally pounding as ‘Come On My Selector’ but it’s more contained; more refined. The breakneck technicality of his earlier work is alive and kicking too, ‘My Red Hot Car’ is reincarnated to a degree throughout this album, but the machismo is well and truly disposed of.
Squarepusher has built a solid record with Damogen Furies and it’s interesting that he chose to record the album in the method he has, although, Jenkinson’s increasingly technical live shows will surely communicate his vision better than a home listen ever could, and that’s perhaps the only downfall to an otherwise splendid listening experience.