Squarepusher is a pseudonym of Chelmsford, Essex, England, electronic musician Tom Jenkinson (b. 1975), best known for his experimental drum and bass, with a heavy jazz fusion influence. A skilled bassist and multi-instrumentalist, Jenkinson's virtuoso playing is a staple of his music and one of the more obvious affiliations with jazz (although. With releases such as Feed Me Weird Things and Hard Normal Daddy, from ’96 and ’97, respectively, U.K. Producer Tom Jenkinson (a.k.a. Squarepusher) helped humanize the drum ’n’ bass genre.
For Timmy84 and anyone who feels like playing along. I know there's a couple other people here who dig Tom's stuff.So, lets start near the beginning.Squarepusher is one man. His name is Tom Jenkinson.Feed Me Weird Things1996Rephlex RecordsHuge, massive debut album. All tracks posted to represent a particular release will be my personal favorites. I'll try to include a good cross section of what each release sounds like, but you may have a completely different opinion of the album should you care to check it out on your own. As such, you are wholeheartedly encouraged to do so.Squarepusher Theme: The first track on the album. I always thought it was kind of ballsy to name the first track on your first album as your theme.
Wasn't until years later that I realized there was no 's on the Squarepusher. Thereby making it a theme for all who push squares, not just Squarepusher's theme.In hindsight, it really wouldn't matter anyway, as the song does represent a big piece of the realms Tom has worked within since it's release. As stated in the last post, I had never heard anything remotely like this track at the time of it's release. It was a mouth open, staring at the turntable moment to be sure.Tundra: The second track on the album. This track coming immediately after Squarepusher Theme is when I realized I was having a 'holy shit!'
I still remember, quite vividly, standing up and bouncing around the room to the first jungle section after the ambient part at the beginning. It was clearly jungle, because I knew jungle at the time. The stuff I'd been listening to that was labeled 'jungle' from 1993-95 was in that section of the song, but something wasn't quite right about it. Something was just a bit off.
Then, all of a sudden at around 2:40 I was listening to Aphex Twin Braindance sounding chord structures with a galloping, near swing beat underneath and my brain just went akefqwowdkf-234fs;dlfaw;tkjf3-0k Flip it 360 and outro with the intro. Still one of my favorite Squarepusher songs.The Shifty: The third track in the album. First it's a dub track with time signatures from hell. Nobody was using those time signatures in electronic music. It was rare that anybody REALLY went out of a 4/4, even if they programmed the beat to make it feel like they did. And if they could figure out what to do with them, they certainly weren't moving around within them like Squarepusher was doing. Probably the most complicated drum programming I'd heard up to that point.
It's a bass solo! Then it's dub track again! These three songs together fried brains. They were nothing like each other, yet they made perfect sense together.-Reply #3 posted 05/21/12 10:31pm. Theme From Ernest Borgnine: Track nine on the album. So ya know how sometimes, for no real reason, there are songs that you can just listen to over and over and over? Where you can get lost and completely forget about the fact that you've just spend an hour listening to one song.
Well this is one of those songs for me.It gives you a nice long introduction, letting you know full well what the melody is going to be. At around the one minute mark an ultrafast breakbeat drops. It would probably have been called drum n' bass around that time, but it's too fast for that.
It's just a Squarepusher beat. For the next five minutes the song drifts back and forth between different layers of the melodies you hear during the introduction, the beat staying solid for all but a few seconds.
Somewhere along the way you realize a bass line has been added. Several times it seems like the song is going to end, then it picks right back up and keeps going. Until shortly after you roll past the six minute mark, where all melody suddenly drops away and you bounce to the end of the song over the same beat and a 303 acid line that comes out of nowhere. It shouldn't work, but it does.This song also continues the strange use of the word 'theme' on this album. It's not a theme FOR Ernest Borgnine. It's a theme FROM Ernest Borgnine.Future Gibbon: Twelfth and final track on the album. Not really a favorite, either.
I'm including it because I've always thought it was really strange way to end a completely brilliant album. A repeating drill n' bass beat, a very simple bass line and a six or seven note keyboard part that sounds like processed church bells dropping in on occassion.
Then at 2:10, it quickly fades out. Always sounded like something he made on accident to me. Or like he starting the programming goind and walked away to answer the phone or something.-Reply #6 posted 05/21/12 10:55pm. Tom also released two eps in 1996. I don't remember (and research still leaves me unsure of) which one came first, so for the sake of continuity we'll start with the one that relates to 'Feed Me Weird Things'.Sqaurepusher Plays.1996Rephlex RecordsThis was a twelve inch ep.
And it still is. As important as they've been to the progression of IDM, Braindance, EDM, drill n' bass and just generally being very supportive of new, innovative electronic artists, Rephlex is notorious (unfortunately) for printing small quantities of some releases, as well as letting pretty much all of them go out of print. This ep never even saw a CD release. It was only available for a short time in 1996 as a twelve inch.This ep only contained three songs, and one of them was Squarepusher Theme. The other two were.Theme From Goodbye Renaldo: Continues the use of 'theme' from the 'Feed Me Weird Things' album. The first part has a little 70s tv funk guitar, then it wanders for a bit over an uneventful breakbeat. This part of the song is fairly unique in the Squarepusher musical lexicon for it's use of a conga percussion sound.
Definitely not a common sound for him. In fact it sounds weird to my ears right now.It's the middle to the end of the song that are interesting to me. A typical for the time Squarepusher keyboard line comes during the sudden beatless break around the 3:00 mark. When the beat comes back in it's slowed way, WAY down, just chillin' in the pocket. A bit of randomizer knob twiddling follows before he takes it back into the pocket and rides it to the end of the track.I don't particularly think either of the non-album tracks on this ep are essential, but this one does show signs of a style he would use to much better affect in the future (that being the laid back, chilled out, almost hip-hop sounding beat).And.Deep Fried Pizza: A nice bouncy, slap bass number with what sounds like a straight, unfiltered organ track for the lead line. Pretty straight ahead for Squarepusher at any point in his career.-Reply #8 posted 05/21/12 11:50pm.
Port Rhombus EP1996Warp RecordsThe second ep from 1996, his first release on Warp.Port Rhombus: Continuing down paths he'd already visited, but maybe with the light from a different time of day. To my ears; slightly cleaner production and a better mix. Or rather a better placement of the instruments within the mix. Better levels.
Plus, the nice use of a strummed acoustic guitar sound as counterpoint in the second half of the song.Significant Others: A pretty simple sounding track (although I'm sure the programming was plenty complicated), it's mostly just drum and percussion. It's significant (you see what I did there) for the echoing effects Tom uses on part of the precussion sounds.
It sounds like they were recorded in a large metal room about 1000 feet underwater. It's an process he used to great affect on better tracks in the future.The video is unofficial, but it's nice to look at something other than a static image.-Reply #9 posted 05/21/12 11:51pm. Best cod4 pc mod menu download. Hard Normal DaddyApril 28, 1997Warp RecordsThis is basically the same album as 'Feed Me Weird Things', in my opinion, only not quite as good. It even starts out with two tracks, in the same order, that are exremely similar to those on his debut.
Forunately, one of them (Beep Street) is really good! The rest of the album sticks to pretty much the same formulas he'd been using, but maybe a little harder, a little colder. Overall, I find it a very difficult album to listen to from beginning to end.
Contains a couple of gems, though. Some good solid breakbeat acid tracks for sure.Next: Selected tracks from Hard Normal Daddy-Reply #14 posted 05/22/12 10:29pm. Cerebus said:Tom also released two eps in 1996. I don't remember (and research still leaves me unsure of) which one came first, so for the sake of continuity we'll start with the one that relates to 'Feed Me Weird Things'.Sqaurepusher Plays.1996Rephlex RecordsThis was a twelve inch ep. And it still is. As important as they've been to the progression of IDM, Braindance, EDM, drill n' bass and just generally being very supportive of new, innovative electronic artists, Rephlex is notorious (unfortunately) for printing small quantities of some releases, as well as letting pretty much all of them go out of print. This ep never even saw a CD release.
Feed Me Weird Things Squarepusher Rarlabs
It was only available for a short time in 1996 as a twelve inch.This ep only contained three songs, and one of them was Squarepusher Theme. The other two were.Theme From Goodbye Renaldo: Continues the use of 'theme' from the 'Feed Me Weird Things' album. The first part has a little 70s tv funk guitar, then it wanders for a bit over an uneventful breakbeat. This part of the song is fairly unique in the Squarepusher musical lexicon for it's use of a conga percussion sound.
Definitely not a common sound for him. In fact it sounds weird to my ears right now.It's the middle to the end of the song that are interesting to me.
A typical for the time Squarepusher keyboard line comes during the sudden beatless break around the 3:00 mark. When the beat comes back in it's slowed way, WAY down, just chillin' in the pocket. A bit of randomizer knob twiddling follows before he takes it back into the pocket and rides it to the end of the track.I don't particularly think either of the non-album tracks on this ep are essential, but this one does show signs of a style he would use to much better affect in the future (that being the laid back, chilled out, almost hip-hop sounding beat).And.Deep Fried Pizza: A nice bouncy, slap bass number with what sounds like a straight, unfiltered organ track for the lead line. Pretty straight ahead for Squarepusher at any point in his career.@ 'Deep Fried Pizza'. This is a banger right here.-Reply #15 posted 05/22/12 10:45pm. Second, third and fourth tracks on 'Hard Normal Daddy'.Beep Street: A nice melodic, drill n' bass number. Nice counterpoint going on throughout with the synth programming.
From about 2:25 on this track feels like movement to me. Like flying through the air over an alien landscape. Something like that.Rustic Raver: Cold. Almost no melody in this one until the 3:00 minute mark. It's all about Tom playing his bass, highly filtered and processed, over a ridiculously fast breabeat.
Then the bass pulls back to a real simple repeating pattern and the melody line comes in all twisted and warped, kind of woozy feeling. A pretty solid track if you dig this kind of vibe in your music.Anirog D9: Absolutely no doubt about it - this song sounds like Aphex Twin. It sounds so much like Aphex Twin that I wouldn't be surprised if it WAS Aphex Twin. If this was on 'Richard D James Album' nobody would question whether or not it was him. In reality, it's probably either Tom playing with Rich's equipment at that time, or it was made to purposely sound that way. For whatever reason, it's only just over over a minute long.Edited 5/22/12 22:47pm-Reply #16 posted 05/22/12 10:59pm.
The centerpiece of 'Hard Normal Daddy' is two tracks that clock in at over eight minutes each. They've both always felt overly long to me, with neither one of them being particular 'all-time favorites'. But of the two.Papalon: The fifth track on Hard Normal Daddy.is the more interesing. It shows off some pretty solid keyboard/organ and bass work from the 'Pusher, and it moves nicely through a lot of mini-movements. It's got a nice 'mood' about it, too. Parts of it could work as a movie soundtrack. It's just not a track I feel like I need to listen to all the time.
It would work well next to some Deep Fried Pizza, though.Fat Controller: The seventh track on Hard Normal Daddy. Tom slows the breaks down long enough to make the Roland 303 funky! Throws down a solid bass solo and some classic hip-hop scratching/samples, too.Vic Acid: The eighth track on Hard Normal Daddy. Only I believe all of the acid lines on this track are Tom manipulating and looping his bass to sound like the Roland 303, rather than actually being from the Roland 303. Tosses in some 808 for good measure.-Reply #17 posted 05/22/12 11:12pm.
In 1997 Tom also released a single sided twelve inch on Rephlex Records for the track 'Male Pill Part 13'. The exact same eight and a half minute song was released as track ten on 'Hard Normal Daddy'. I have no idea why only that one track made it out on Rephlex, or why nothing else was ever released by Tom under the Squarepusher name on that label. But that is the case - that single sided twelve inch was the last piece of music released on Rephlex under the Squarepusher name. Everything he's released under that name since has been on Warp Records.Rebus: Track thirteen on Hard Normal Daddy. Now this was something new!
It was also a sign of one of the avenues he would explore further in the near future. Throughout the entire track it sounds like the drum programming is trying to escape and go ballistic, but he manages to keep it in check and produces a beautiful album closer in the process.-Reply #18 posted 05/22/12 11:20pm.
It's late, I'm tired, I have to be up when it's still dark and drive very far tomorrow, so I'm going to keep the intro short and sweet here.The first two tracks are, to my ears, a couple of the best Tom every produced in this early Squarepusher style. They're just filled with emotion. They make me want to get up and dance around like a spaz on a happy pill. 'A Journey To Reedham' actually makes me smile. 'Massif (Stay Strong)' actually manages to feel positive, uplifting and melancholic at the same time.
Just really brilliant stuff.The 'mix' names are only for fun, I believe, or are just extensions of the titles. No other versions of these songs have ever been released.A Journey To Reedham (7 A.M. Mix): The first track on Big Loada.Massif (Stay Strong): The second track on Big Loada.-Reply #21 posted 05/22/12 11:48pm. Lets take that step backwards for a moment.Burningn'n TreeNov 10, 1997Warp RecordsBuriningn' Tree is a compilation featuring tracks from two early Squarepusher releases on his own label, one under a different name, with three new 'bonus' tracks.The two early releases compiled here are.alroy road tracks featuring the duke of harringay1995SpymaniaConumber E1995SpymaniaThere was also several releases under Tom's real name from 94-96. They are as follows.Crot EP1994Rumble Tum JumStereotype EP1994Nothings ClearDragon Disc 2 (a split 12' with Dunderhead)1996Worm InterfaceBubble & Squeak1996Worm InterfaceNext: A selection of tracks from all of the above releases.-Reply #28 posted 05/24/12 7:22pm.
Tom was 19 years old in 1994 when he started self-releasing his music. Some of the earliest stuff, like these tracks from the Crost EP, really hasn't aged very well. They're just straight ahead hard acid house tracks. No breakbeats, jungle or drill n' bass, no funk, very little melody and no slap bass, or live instrumentation at all that I can hear. If you like this kind of thing (I do - I remember dancing to it in the wee hours of the morning in the early 90s), these tracks slam pretty hard. But from a musical standpoint, there's not a lot going on here.The Burglar Pt 2, track two on the a-side of the Crot EPThe Procrastinator Pt 1, track one on the b-side of the Crot EP-Reply #29 posted 05/24/12 7:23pm.
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