Tom Jenkinson first appeared in the record shops early summer of '96. 'Feed Me Weird Things' came out on a UK based label partly owned by Richard D James: Rephlex. An instant hit among fans that stemmed as much from jazz and trip hop as they did from techno, drum & bass and IDM (intelligent dance music, a term hated by most fans and artists). IDM itself was partly born with Warp records releasing the now classic Artificial Inteligence series. Richard D James (also known as Aphex Twin, AFX, Analord and many more) was an instant fan and even wrote about the talents of his new friend on the back of the album.

"[...] Undoubtedly, Tom Jenkinson is the first man in history to orchestrate a akai-seltzer fizzing a two mega byte simms memory upgrade chip (with 1 nanosecond access time) and a toilet flushing. When Mr. Jenkinson is conducting, the rest of the world is in the pit. One of his earliest experiments in sound was recording an ant walking on the sand. Unfortunately, the experiment was cut short by a cat meowing. [...]."

Squarepusher quickly moved to Warp records where he remains today. His unique brand of drum & bass has made him extremely popular but he doesn't stop there. He is a trained bass player whose influences are wide and go beyond electronic music. Each of his albums has a different sound, a different take on what he enjoys. In this new opus, Squarepusher does beebop future funk jazz, acoustic guitar and fast space prog garage rock to name a few. A dream helped him come up with the idea for the album: a magical band, mostly non-human, making mind blowing music. To read the story go to:

Just a souvenir is a breath of fresh air. The fact all the instruments are played by Squarepusher adds something rather personal to the music. Though this album may not be for everyone (even older fans have been disappointed with the more rock orientated sounds and progressive doodlings) there is a lot of melody and It can be as delicate as it can be fast and brutal.

The opener 'Star Time 2' is wonderfully misleading. By the time you get to Glass Road (track 10) you've already been through so much. The latter track is probably one of Squarepusher's most outstanding pieces, taking all the influences and throwing them into the pan to make a groovy, jazzy, proggy, beaty and beautifully written piece of music. It's the perfect 'pusher track that encapsules everything there is to say about the man's music.

Unlike anything out there at the moment, it's clear to me that Mr Jenkison 's music is indeed like that of a futuristic band that somehow manages to remain extremely human. This is the music of somebody doing exactly what he wants. It's alien yet perfectly at reach.

pictures: design by Sam Blunden with Tom Jenkinson, album cover scanned by ChicsFilles

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