Squarepusher: Ultravisitor

Warp, 2004

Ultravisitor cover

I’ve been listening to this album for a few weeks now, but it continues to surprise me. The first half hearkens back to Squarepusher’s days of jazzy drum and bass, with complex rattling percussion and sweet electronic melodies. The second half is a continuation of the fusion experiments that began with Music Is Rotted One Note. From the opening (title) track, a massive, enthusiastic hit with drumrolls and organ-like passages (it ought to be called “New Squarepusher Theme”), to the distorted vocals and electric bass of “50 Cycles” and the headache-inducing noise at the start of “An Arched Pathway,” this is a diverse musical statement. Highlights include “Circlewave,” with soft, slow synths over apparently acoustic percussion and “Tetra-Sync,” a progression of unusual key changes that builds up into electronic noise, then breaks for an extended drum solo. Thank goodness Jenkinson’s back in top form after his disappointing last release (Do You Know Squarepusher). This is the Squarepusher I know and love, with intense experimentation juxtaposed with moments of clarity and beauty. Where else would you hear enthusiastic audience noise over such unusual time signatures?

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1 Comment

It is spaced out ambience without the wrong connotations utterly boring so-called "artists" lacking vigor and creativity have added to the genre of ambient music. It is order within anarchy; Tom Jenkinson plays but by his own rules, and he plays deftly, brilliantly and aesthetically so. This album has a rather mellow flavour, and yet it is going to surprise you time and again. The only thing I wouldn't be surprised about were if it became a real classic soon.