Music Reviews
Just A Souvenir

Squarepusher Just A Souvenir

(Warp) Buy it from Insound Rating - 8/10

Squarepusher a.k.a. Tom Jenkinson has flirted with revealing the creative process behind his work before: the Squarepusher Manifesto included with Do You Know Squarepusher was a glimpse into the mind of someone who takes his work very seriously indeed. Accompanying his new release Just a Souvenir is 'Just a Story', an altogether more esoteric look inside the mind of one of British Electronica's stalwarts. A daydream of coat hangers, Eskimo drummers and 'a cupboard full of granite spheres illuminated in a dull orange', perhaps the only thing more surprising than the narrative itself is that, listening to the album, the concept makes sense. The temptation here is to say its a return to 'classic' Squarepusher; though the jazz-influenced bass and drum combination prevalent throughout never really went away, in more recent years it has simply returned to the fore. The attempt to conjure up a 'crazy, beautiful rock-band playing an ultra gig' means that the instrumentation from track to track is much the same, and this is the one major change to the established Squarepusher sound. Indeed, if it weren't for Jenkinson playing every instrument, you could almost believe this were a live album.

And as with any good live performance, Jenkinson starts gently, with the breezy nonsense of Startime 2 and The Coathanger leading to A Real Woman, which sounds a bit like Jaco Pastorius covering The Ramones' Blitzkrieg Bop. With a vocoder. You'll either love it or hate it. In isolation I fall into the former camp, but an album full of this might have led to broken speakers and a snapped CD.

After this gentle start, the meat of the album gets a bit more serious as the distortion kicks in, the vocoder gets put away and the songs get longer. At times the record seems dangerously close to wandering too far into Jenkinson's day-dream, leaving the rest of us looking on as he noodles away on the bass in rapture. Thankfully the next hook never seems too far away and on the record's finer tracks (Planet Gear, The Glass Road) the relentless drive from one time signature to the next, as the roving melody gets more complex and the layers of sparkling synths more dense, is intoxicating.

The record fizzles out with several slower tracks and solo bass pieces that, whilst technically impressive, are nothing that hasn't been done before. It's nice enough but I found myself longing for the day-dream band to come back on for an encore, and with that Just a Souvenir reveals itself to be a solid record, up there with the best of Squarepusher's work - as any good performer knows, you always leave the audience wanting more.

Comments for Just A Souvenir review

Very good review

This is a great album, I love the production on this one. To me though the long bass solos are my favorite parts (maybe cuz im a bass plaer). I agree that the one song does sound ridiculously like Blitzkrieg.

The Sound of Just a Souvenir

Brilliant Album. Simple.

www.businessanalysissummit.com

Mate this is a very nice blog here. I wanted to comment & say that I enjoyed reading your posts & they are all very well written out. You make blogging look easy lol I’ll attemp to start a blog later today and I hope it’s half as good as your blog! Much success to you!
www.businessanalysissummit.com |

I like you recommendation.

I like you recommendation. Your recommendation is of well use to people. A great article post, this is something very interesting. I really appreciate your post.
http://www.oxicoa-health.com |

Interesting and amazing how

Interesting and amazing how your post is! It Is Useful and helpful for me That I like it very much, and I am looking forward to Hearing from your next..
www.computerisfun.org |

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.