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go plastic
Go Plastic

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Those of you who have had the pleasure of listening to a Squarepusher album know exactly what an unpredictable son-of-a-bitch he can be. Heís the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde of the Warp Records roster, displaying a unique ability to switch from avant-jazz to drum ní bass to full-blown techno in the blink of an eye. It is this tireless pursuit of individuality that has endeared Tom Jenkinson, the man behind the Squarepusher mask, to critics and beat-heads across the globe.

On Go Plastic, Jenkinson eschews the softer leanings of Selection Sixteen and The Maximum Priest EP in favor of a denser, more depraved sound. Rather than concentrating on mellifluous tones and languid beats, Jenkinson is now on a seek-and-destroy mission to drill his twisted musical vision into your brain. Evidence of this change in direction comes swiftly, in the form of lead track and first single "My Red Hot Car"; its filthy dub-derived beats and demonic cut-and-paste vocal pastiche clearly encapsulate the new Squarepusher aesthetic.

Itís clear that in his two years away from the scene, Jenkinson has immersed himself in the world of dub-reggae and San Franciscoís thriving glitchtronica underground. He demonstrates that heís the king of glitch on the aptly titled "Go! Spastic", a song whose lightning-fast breaks and caterwauling programming are enough to make even the mighty Kid 606 wet himself. "The Exploding Psychology" gives us Jenkinson at his Scientist-aping best: squalls of extraterrestrial organ and spacey synths shuffle around skittering breaks and foreboding bass lines. The seamless fusion of these totally different genres is one of the components that make Go Plastic so damned eclectic. Elsewhere, we find the little devil harking back to his drill ní bass roots on the metallic "Greenways Trajectory", twiddling knobs like a man possessed by the ghost of Bruce Haack on the brilliant "My Fucking Sound" and eventually finding some solace in the languid grooves and trip-hoppish production of the disc's closing track, "Plaistow Flex Out".

Few electronic artists working today have the balls or the skills to pull off an album as unconventional and uncompromising as Go Plastic, proving once again that we have absolutely no idea who Tom Jenkinson really is -- friend, foe, devil or angel. If this album is anything to go on, though, devil is the most likely choice.

-- Jason Jackowiak
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