Review Summary: Squarepusher has relied on his ever-changing persona, without detaching his fusion of high tempo breaks and bass. But Shobaleader One - d'Demonstrator plays out quickly for all in respects to our patience and Jenkinson's ignorance in his latest.
I admire Tom Jenkinson. He isn't happy with one thing. He enjoys deconstructing his sound, only to create an entirely different album with all the same signature bass heavy addictiveness as the last. The problem with this is, of course, an entirely hit and miss discography. With every seminal release he would bring out, there would be an equally mediocre concurrent in his more modern career. It only takes a few missteps to find yourself in a pitfall and after the release of Selection Sixteen
Jenkinson has gone from interesting experimentation with 2004's Ultravisitor
and 2006's Hello Everything
, to dreary tediousness with his releases of Go Plastic
, Do You Know Squarepusher
and Just A Souvenior
, which by all means gives us more reasons to doubt his ability to bring out quality work similar to his early days.
Shobaleader One - D'demonstrator
in all cases is an entirely different type of Squarepusher experience. Those minimalistic templates we got in Music Is A Rotted Note
are gone, the ambient eeriness, electronic discord in Feed Me Weird Things
as well and the thumping bass within Selection Sixteen
that would break out with electronic groove has practically vanished. What D'demonstrator
isn't is a Squarepusher album in the classic sense. His dependence is gone from bass or high tempo breaks, instead he tries to pull off everyone's favorite House groups, you know the modern electronic dance music that has had a revival from the masked robotic duo - Daft Punk and their contemporaries since the mid-90's. Yes, that's right almost two decades ago, so what exactly is Jenkinson trying to prove? I'm not entirely sure exactly. D'demonstrator
doesn't pull off much with its heavy-handed synth approach and blaring robotic chimes. It instead cripples it before the album can even get up on its feet. Never really reaching any type of connection with the listener, instead we're stranded to try and find some sort link within the music.
The frustrating "demonstration" that is this album is what is confusing. It seems to lack any type of uniqueness because of the direction taken. No one wants to listen to racket that is incomprehensible and mind-numbing to the point of annoyance. Shobaleader One - D'demonstrator
encompasses something where an artist tries to pull too much out of nothing. From the opening up until "Endless Night" do we get something that pushes the envelope down our throats on what exactly is dance music to Jenkinson; unlike the rest of the album "Cryptic Motion" actually pulls it off because the bass line isn't deteriorated by the synth, despite what would seem to be a clear clairvoyance on what this album was meant to be, Squarepusher fails miserably in almost every aspect of simulating a dance album. He may have good intentions, but they don't rub well for most if at all during the albums length. Fortunately, I can listen to the closer "Maximum Planck" and hope the man behind this album builds upon that same guitar riff within the track - on repeat because it looks to be the only saving grace on this entire album. It seems to be the only glimpse of what was once always Squarepusher.
If this release is trying
to create a sense of danceable themed music it fails terribly, without any type of harmony or true flow within D'demonstrator
it falls apart. Its unfortunate too because with every track like Cryptic Motion that makes sense with its pop-synth style and classic Squarepusher electronic freedom its bogged down by its seemingly indescribable blare of robotic singing and lack of any route to take the music. Throughout Shobaleader One - D'demonstrator
I find myself wandering through each track trying to find some kind of hook, beat, or to put it simply appealing energy that gives most dance artists their life blood to lure me in, instead I couldn't and felt like it was an entire waste of my time. Why don't you just listen to some Daft Punk or Basement Jaxx or The Chemical Brothers or .....you get my point.