Thursday 5 May 2011

A Very Warped History 9: 2001 (2 Of 2)

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2001 would also see Aphex's long time buddy Squarepusher release his 5th album, Go Plastic. It takes a very experimental route to production, being very open ended and quite complex compared to anything before it or anything after Ultravisitor (which would be the last time 'Pusher made something this experimental) and is unique in the realm of Squarepusher as all the instrumentation and production is entirely electronic; manipulated breakbeats in place of his usual bass guitar affair.

Go Plastic and Ultravisitor were my introduction to Squarepusher, and in hindsight it wasn't an ideal place to start (I'd recommend Feed Me Weird Things or Hello Everything for those looking) but I grew to love both albums in time. I fell for Go Plastic's first few tracks almost instantly, with the first track on the LP being a perfect example of this, it's also probably the most accessible track on the album to boot.

It happened again with the second track, I'd never heard anything like this before or at least the progression 'Pusher applies to it, it changes so much over it's runtime that towards the end it doesn't even resemble the same song anymore.

The same also applies to the charmingly named Go! Spastic. It's one of the most experimental yet still listenable tracks, there are a few tracks that haven't aged well on this LP, this is not one of them. stay tuned for the brilliant break at 1:40.

Up next we have by far my absolute favourite track from the album and probably the least experimental full on Drum & Bass track here, or that Squarepusher has ever done for that matter. For the BPM busting Amen Break fuelled monster it is, it has quite a nice atmosphere about it, which leads us nicely onto our next track.

Squarepusher has a nice habit of putting a little ambient or chilled piece somewhere on his albums. This is Go Plastic's, Tommib (which gained fame after being used in Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation), a nice minute long melodic piece that sounds completely out of place when you compare it to the rest of the album.

And finally we have the last track of the album, which also takes a more laid back approach to the sounds. That is until the main hook drops at 1:12, at which point it's pretty clear this is still Squarepusher being, well, Squarepusher.

Go Plastic is perhaps not Squarepusher's "best" album, but it does have it's moments and is certainly the most popular. It'll always resonate with me, being my introduction to his tunes and having some of my favourites on it. While I like the all over the place feel to this album, aside from a few tracks it's not something you can just listen to whenever, which is something I feel his later albums manage much better, as you will hear eventually.

Amen Breaks Abound,
-Claude Van Foxbat

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