Boomkat Product Review:
Braindance pioneer Tom Jenkinson aka Squarepusher is in classic, rambunctious and curiously emotive form on umpteenth album ‘Dostrotime’, a product of time and space in the studio prompted by the 2020 lockdown
When the shit hit the fan in early 2020, Squarepusher was preparing to tour his biggest shows off the back of album ‘Be Up a Hello’. He would end up retreating to the studio and beavering away on what would become ‘Dostrotime’, which is named for the strange sense of temporality, and uninterrupted workflow, he experienced during that phase.
The result features a dozen tracks that, aside from the Dawson’s Creek-style cue of its opener, vividly harks to the energy of his early work on Rephlex and Warp, when he helped spearhead drill n bass with fellow savant nutters such as Aphex Twin. Of course his signature proggy jazz-funk vamps and flourishes are still strewn across this one, but it’s mostly some of his most direct, up-for-it material in ages, saving room for moments of lusher pathos in its bittersweetly detuned, beat-less solo guitar vignettes.
Let’s skip right past that opener to the escalating rush of ‘Enbounce’ for the good stuff, which only gets better on the ruthless acid ardcore braindance of ‘Wendorlan’, especially when he whips out the mentasms, whilst the nanoscopic edits and moody harmonic progression of ‘Duneray’ dial up his ‘Hard Normal Daddy’ steez to the maximum. We’re bang into the angular, squirming darkside flex and created drum palette deployed on ‘Akkaren’, which sounds almost like it could have appeared on his ‘Burningn’n Tree’ comp, and the nutters will relish his flashcore levels of detail in ‘Domelash’. But we also appreciate the album’s tenderer moments, lodged in the scalp-fizz fingerpicking on ‘Arkteon 2’, and slowed, kerned like some Jürg Frey meets Derek Bailey mediation in ‘Arkteon 3’.