Squarepusher (IDM/breakbeat/jazz)

Who is Squarepusher?: Given name being Tom Jenkinson, Squarepusher is an English electronic artist who has been releasing music under this moniker since 1994.

He is one of the artists responsible for the IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) movement in electronic music–which completely redefined the entire genre. IDM–unlike typical electronic music (techno, house, etc.)–is characterized by strange time signatures, organic personal expression, and the (often times subtle) incorporation of other genres. This label, however, is mostly denounced by those categorized by it. Aphex Twin, possibly the most influential electronic artist in history (and friend of Squarepusher), said in an interview: “I just think it’s really funny to have terms like that. It’s basically saying ‘this is intelligent and everything else is stupid.’ It’s really nasty to everyone else’s music. (laughs) It makes me laugh, things like that. I don’t use names. I just say that I like something or I don’t.”

Squarepusher’s music is built around fast breakbeats, experimentation with signal processing, artful use of synthesizers, and most importantly, virtuosic bass guitar performance. No matter which of his many albums you take the time to listen to, his skills as a traditional musician shine through the electronic bleeps, buzzes, and swells.

Interesting Fact: He was invited to create music for a group of instrument-playing robots called Z-Machines.

Recommended listening: “Beep Street” off of Hard Normal Daddy. If you feel like giving an entire album a listen, I would recommend listening to Feed Me Weird Things. 

 

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