By Daniel SylvesterThis week marks the release of Squarepusher's latest full-length, Ufabulum, on longtime label home Warp Records. After delving into jazz fusion (2008's Just a Souvenir), bass instrumentation (2009's Solo Electric Bass 1) and full-band performance (2010's Shobaleader One: d'Demonstrator) on his past few albums, the IDM pioneer has returned to his glitch-heavy roots, a move Tom Jenkinson says was a very intentional one.
"I got to the point where I was sick of playing instruments, having to sit down in the studio and having to rattle out takes on a guitar or drum kit, keyboard, what have you," Jenkinson tells Exclaim! while discussing Squarepusher's latest. "I think in culmination with engineering it myself and trying to keep a producer's eye on the whole thing, it's extremely hard work. So doing this album is certainly reactionary in that I wanted to get away from that method."
Released as a virtual companion to his new live show, which Jenkinson will be taking on the road this summer and autumn, the music for Ufabulum was written with his ambitious live LED-light show taken into account.
"The challenge was, could I make the record and make pictures at the same time and develop a visual narrative which corresponded with the musical one?" he says. "What I've been trying to do, in code, is recreate those images. So, for example, a bassline, if that evoked in me simple geometric shapes and movements of those shapes, then I'd try to recreate it visually."
In some ways, Ufabulum has already been praised as a return to form, and even Jenkinson himself sees this record as one that deserves a little extra attention.
"I've varied in my approach from album to album as to what I've seen as being appropriate. With some albums I just like to put them out there, forget about it and move on. But on this, it really felt like the right time to make a big deal out of it."
You can get a sneak peek at Squarepusher's new live show in the video at the bottom of the page. Also, you can check out his newly announced dates, which now include a show in Toronto on November 2, below.
6/15 Barcelona, ES - Sonar Barcelona 6/29 Evreux, FR - Le Rock Dans Tous Ses Etats 7/7 London, UK - BLOC Weekend 7/12 Dour, BE - Dour Festival 7/14 Berlin, DE - Melt! Festival 7/31 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom 8/2 San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom 8/4 Los Angeles, CA - HARD Summer Music Festival 9/2 Strabally, IE - Electric Picnic 9/3 Paris, FR - Le Batacalan 9/9 Rome, IT - MIT Festival 9/30 Berlin, DE - Astra 10/3 Paris, FR - Bataclan 10/4 Brussels, BE - AB 10/5 Amsterdam, NL - Melkweg 10/30 New York, NY - TBA 10/31 Boston, MA - Royale 11/2 Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall 11/3 Chicago, IL - Metro