Published Apr 17, 2015Squarepusher is one of the most unique figures in electronic music's limelight. His sound is built on pushing boundaries to their limits, and then pushing some more, but such experimentation often yields varying results; for every shining diamond on the producer's last few albums, there has been a fair bit of rough, and Damogen Furies is no different.
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)