From the album's offset, it looks as though Squarepusher is holding on to the kitsch-y, spacey aesthetic that stunted his previous record, Ufabulum. Opener "Stor Eiglass" offers the same tacky qualities you'd find on a sci-fi B-movie, as do tracks like "Kontenjaz" and "Exjag Nives." Yet, for all their cheesiness, these tracks still create a cognitive dissonance by featuring some unbelievable drum patterns and Squarepusher's trademark feverish bass lines. Then, there are the genuinely mind-blowing tracks like "Baltang Ort" and "Kwang Bass": the former is an ominous salvo of sounds; the latter's glorious IDM sensibilities and shape-shifting percussion make for one of Squarepusher's best tracks since 2006's Hello Everything.
So on the one hand, Damogen Furies marks a return to the jazz-fuelled, IDM-inflected drum & bass of Squarepusher's heyday; on the other, it's still stuck in the fantasy world that has marred his last few releases. Often tawdry and occasionally remarkable, Damogen Furies is a scattershot release, but one that's definitely worth exploring. (Warp)