Published Apr 10, 2020Squarepusher's latest EP, Lamental, could be seen as a quieter antidote to his recent Be Up a Hello LP, but it's more accurate to say that it simply highlights the softer parts of that record. In fact, "Detroit People Mover," one of the rare ambient moments from Be Up a Hello, is also featured on this release. Strangely, however, it seems to be virtually identical to the album version, and doesn't have any of those odd Squarepusher remix add-ons like "(Dressing Gown Mix)" or "(303 Kebab Mix)" in the title either. If there are any differences between the two, they're miniscule.
All the new material on the EP has a French theme to it, which seems a little curious at first, but once you find out that they were actually recorded as a response to the 2016 EU referendum, it explains why everything's en français. "Midi Sans Frontieres (Avec Batterie)," which translates to "Midi Without Borders (With Battery)," has beautiful end-of-the-world (or end-of-a-movie) synth work atop big beat drums. "Midi Sans Frontieres" follows (we don't need to translate that one for you) and, as you might have guessed, it is the same track minus the percussion. Then, with "Les Mains Dansent" clocking in at just over a minute of hushed guitar plucking, the real juice of the release rests on "The Paris Track." It's the obvious highlight, and not just because it's the only track that has pep in its step; the gurgling bassline, fast hi-hats, and quivering flute sounds are just more interesting than anything else on the EP.
Two decent tracks doesn't make for a particularly memorable record, however, and considering the weight of his back catalogue, this one will likely fade into obscurity. Still though, given that Squarepusher's North American tour has been cancelled, including his shows in Toronto and Montreal, we're just glad to have something to cushion the blow. (Warp)