Album: Squarepusher

Go Plastic, Warp
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The Independent Culture

If it's monsters you're after, here they be. Tom "Squarepusher" Jenkinson has been the most diligent and idiosyncratic of drum'n'bass practitioners, his albums eschewing hoary soul-diva clichés in favour of taxing forays into avant-electronica. Go Plastic is his most extreme outing yet, a dazzling, difficult and sometimes unlistenable array of collaged noise-scapes from which virtually every last vestige of recognisable humanity has been ruthlessly excised. It's a peculiarly digital sound which couldn't exist in a more analogue medium, as the numerous tiny sound-fragments of tracks such as "Boneville Occident" and "Greenways Trajectory" are re-triggered and abraded into a single stuttering flux over hectic jungle snare and hi-hat. Some, like the short piece "Metteng Excuske v1.2", are reminiscent of Frank Zappa's early "musique concrete" collages; but none is remotely danceable. Such voices as appear – the ragga toast in "Go! Spastic", Jenkinson's own croon in "My Red Hot Car" – surface only occasionally, before being torn to pieces and whirled back into Squarepusher's sonic blender, leaving only the vaguest suggestion of a melody-line, like the Cheshire Cat's smile. The sheer industry involved is impressive, but the relentlessly hectic, aggressive nature of the music is draining, too often lacking not just in beauty, but in the desire to create beauty.

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