Squarepusher Hello Everything

[WARP; 2006]

Styles: drum and bass, IDM, abstract jazz
Others: Aphex Twin, Frog Pocket, Kid 606, Plaid

The genius of Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher, Chaos A.D.) is undeniable. As such, it’s always tough to review his newer works. If you don’t like it, chances are you just don’t understand it. But I’ve been a fan of the man for years — I own almost every album he’s ever done — and I feel I’m qualified to say Hello Everything is his most disappointing release yet. This album rehashes old songs without really adding anything different (except for “Vacuum Garden,” which consists of a drone slowly elevating and declining for six minutes, earning my vote for least engaging track of the year somewhere around minute four). Where did the noise go? This is like Squarepusher doing light jazz. It’s easy listening Squarepusher. Sure, Tom Jenkinson on autopilot is still a cut above the average Pendulum, but the unavoidable fact of the matter is Hello Everything doesn’t even compare to his last album, Ultravisitor, let alone his classic works. Granted, Hard Normal Daddy (from which this album borrows heavily) isn’t as expertly produced as this — Jenkinson having gained some 10 years experience since then — but the thrill of experimentation and expression used to be all over every note. All we get here is stagnancy. C’mon, though, it’s not like The Beatles wrote only hits. Pop may still run on a “what have you done for me lately” basis, but Tom has earned the benefit of a doubt over the past decade. You’ll just have to go meditate and wait for the next one. Here’s hoping.

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