Discover more from Flow State
Today we have a guest recommendation from Scott Layne, a listener and friend of Flow State.
Tom Jenkinson, as Squarepusher, melds together genres of progressive jazz and drum and bass. Producing for Warp Records among the other electronica greats Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Boards of Canada, he combines studio recordings of his own virtuosic bass playing, drums, and even, on his Budakhan Mindphone album, Balinese gamelan with sequenced drum, synthesizer, and sampling. Squarepusher works as focus music for the mind like alternating hot and cold baths invigorate the body – by variously arousing your parasympathetic nervous system with a profound ambient jazz soundscape and then jolting you to attention with the jittery, stimulant rush of a crisp and aggressive drill'n'bass sequence. A Squarepusher breakdown can dwindle to nothing more than a free form, Jaco Pastorius-like jazz bass solo, next layering back the restless electronic drum riffs and breakbeats, and occasionally, and increasingly in his later work, reaching a degree of spasmodic discord (sometimes dubbed "dark psychedelic") that would threaten the Flow State of even the most transcendent monk.
The first album we're listening to is Jenkinson's first under the Squarepusher moniker, Feed Me Weird Things, which was released in 1996 under Richard D. James' (aka Aphex Twin's) Rephlex Records. Squarepusher's second album and its first on Warp Records is Hard Normal Daddy, released in 1997, in which Jenkinson's experiment in drill 'n' bass / jazz fusion is fully proven and which Stylus Magazine referred to in 2003 as Squarepusher's "masterpiece" and Pitchfork included in 2017 as one of the best “IDM” albums of all time.
Have a great weekend.