FFWD REW

Squarepusher – Ufabulum

Warp

It’s been a tough chunk of years for Squarepusher fans or at least those craving his glitched-out IDM offerings of yore. Tom Jenkinson’s latest string of albums have veered off into everything from jazz fusion to solo bass instrumentation to some downright disastrous French touch experimentation. So you couldn’t fault followers for going into his newest full-length Ufabulum with a sense of trepidation. Thankfully Squarepusher has finally righted himself or at least somewhat. This time around the digital has clearly triumphed over the analog with Jenkinson filling Ufabulum with a series of icy-cold synth-and-electronics-led compositions. Add some in-your-face junglism and dubstep-styled bass drops and the results are dark to say the least — often playing out like some deranged unrelenting soundtrack to some post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror film. It’s not a bad approach by any means but as standouts like “Energy Wizard” and “Dark Steering” prove Jenkinson’s warped vision is often best served when it’s held together with a strong sense of melody even if in this case that can be of a very Goblin-like nature. Ufabulum isn’t likely to trump any of Squarepusher’s classics but it’s good to see Jenkinson redeem at least some of that past glory.

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