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Squarepusher
Techno


Tom "Squarepusher" Jenkinson makes manic, schizoid experimental drum'n'bass with a heavy progressive jazz influence and a lean toward pushing the clichs of the genre out the proverbial window. Rising from near-total obscurity to drum'n'bass cause clbre in the space of a couple of months, Jenkinson released only a pair of EPs and a DJ Food remix for the latter's Refried Food series before securing EP and LP release plans with three different labels. His first full-length work, Feed Me Weird Things (on Richard "Aphex Twin" James' Rephlex label) is a dizzying, quixotic blend of superfast jungle breaks with Aphex-style synth textures, goofy, offbeat melodies, and instrumental arrangments (Jenkinson samples his own playing for his tracks) that recall vaguely jazz fusion pioneers such as Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report. A skilled bassist and multi-instrumentalist, Jenkinson's fretless accompaniment is a staple of his music and one of the more obvious affiliations with jazz (although his formal arrangements are often as jazz-derived as his playing). Barely into his twenties, Jenkinson grew up listening to jazz and dub greats like Miles Davis, Augustus Pablo, Charlie Parker, and Art Blakey. The son of a jazz drummer, Jenkinson followed in his father's footsteps, playing bass and drums in high school. Introduced to electronic music through experimental electro-techno groups such as LFO and Carl Craig, Jenkinson soon began assembling the rolls of disparate influence into amalgams of breakbeat techno and post-bop avant-garde and progressive jazz. Claiming a closer affinity with jazz than jungle (although he draws from both equally in his music), Jenkinson's EPs as Squarepusher and the Duke of Harringay (Jenkinson moved to Harringay from his Chelmsford birthplace) were initially disregarded as misplaced perversions of jungle's more obvious compositional principles, but found ready audience in fans of post-acid house experimental listening music. He inked a deal with Warp in 1995, releasing the Port Rhombus EP and three others through a variety of different labels. His full-length debut Feed Me Weird Things appeared in 1996, followed a year later by Hard Normal Daddy. For 1998's Music Is Rotted One Note, Jenkinson became a one-man fusion group, multi-tracking himself playing drums, bass, and keyboards. The following year, he released two EPs (Budakhan Mindphone, Maximum Priest) and another full LP, Selection Sixteen. Go Plastic was issued in summer 2001. Sean Cooper

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