Tom Jenkinson, who records as Squarepusher, could be the perfect model of the twenty-first-century musical Renaissance man. Check out the well-designed ads for Hello Everything to see why. That’s him behind a drum set, tickling a keyboard, twiddling various knobs. With a multi-tasker like Jenkinson around, even the White Stripes seems overstaffed. And Squarepusher is eclectic to boot. From IDM to free-jazz compositions to noise rock, there’s a little bit of something on Hello Everything for fans for many different genres.
Jenkinson obviously enjoys naming songs according to how they sound. “Bubble Life” is appropriately light, blippy and pretty. It’s one of many tunes that features fun bass-guitar work, culminating in the second-to-last track, “The Modern Bass Guitar.” “Theme from Sprite” is also effervescent. To call it “free jazz” isn’t downing it; Jenkinson mixes up keyboards, bass and drums to concoct something much better than what the members of Spinal Tap came up with in that great scene where they play a sparsely populated band shell at a crappy theme park, taking second billing to a puppet act.
But Squarepusher’s wide range is bound to disappoint some listeners. Listeners looking for tunes to shake their glow sticks to will inevitably be let down by the above-mentioned selections and by the darker ambient soundscapes of “Rotate Electrolyte” and “Orient Orange.” But those who’ve admired Squarepusher’s more indie-leaning instrumental rock (like me) will be put off by the annoyingly simple, spastic techno of “Planetarium” and “Plotinus.” And I can’t imagine anybody finding redeeming quality in “Vacuum Garden,” which is six minutes of what sounds like the Doppler effect of a motorcycle speeding off into the distance.
Of course, maybe eclecticism is the way to go these days. Appeal to everyone with a little bit of everything. Hello everything. You sound quite nice.
Label: http://www.warprecords.com/Audio: http://www.myspace.com/3046443