Fresh Stream

Squarepusher — Damogen Furies


The UK’s ever-prolific electronic music master Tom Jenkinson, better known as Squarepusher, has just come out with his fourteenth full-length album. Some of Squarepusher’s releases in recent years have shown him experimenting with new things, but Damogen Furies (Warp Records) is firmly grounded in the jazz-inflected, densely packed, hyper-frenetic compositions and watery bass lines for which he is best known. It also contains some sounds you might be more used to hearing in dubstep or other more mainstream forms of electronic music, for which it has apparently gotten some flack (see track four, “Kontenjaz,” or track six, “Baltang Arg”).

But the thing about this album is that it takes all of these components—jazz bass, various shades of EDM, video-gamey synth melodies, blisteringly overclocked breakbeats—and solders them together into a ferocious cybernetic beast. It moves at an almost relentlessly fast tempo, and while this might burn out some listeners, it’s that extreme intensity that has always made Squarepusher such a challenging and creative force. Nor does the relatively constant speed mean this album lacks variety. Each track is driven by a singular idea, coming to life based on its own unique tics, motions, and sonic pallette. In this respect, third track “Rayc Fire 2” and seventh track “Kwang Bass” are two of the most satisfying on the album when it comes to getting your sensory overstimulation fix.

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