Welcome to the party, we've been waiting for you - Squarepusher - Damogen Furies
Here we are. It's taken a while, but we feel somehow like we've come full circle without ever having started walking.
There's something characteristic about DnB, and IDM. Something easily tangible that detractors will point to and go, "That. None of that, thank you I'll stick to my soft rock and muzak." And to be fair to the soft rockers, the pop punks and anyone who is so short sighted, they failed to see that bands like One Directions would eventually fall apart, there is a great deal of repitition in most electronic music that is not always as easily hidden as in most pop music, this, regardless of genre.
But the great thing about electronic music as a whole (that detractors from it easily miss) is that it has filled the roll that grunge, punk, and rock before it filled. These were styles of music that were daring, and dared to approach the frotiers of what could be considered "tasteful music," to step beyond the fences and guide markers which had been placed by older generations, indicating rules for proper etiquite. Music had come as far as it needed, and the best was behind them, anything past this was and is utter trash.
It is for this reason that I have always taken a special kind of pride in knowing in advance what my generation, and future generations will look at as classical music, and classical composers. Often, these are the kind of artists that keep poping up in the corner of your eye, like ghosts, in unexpected and novel places. Aphex twin, Ceephax Acid Crew, Venitian Snares, µ-Ziq, Carl Craig. And I think the reason for this is the fact that they continue to challenge the norms of their work and their genre. The avant-garde of Electronica, by bending, mixing and fusing traditonal norms of music and surpassing expectations for producers, they represent a direction in music that refuses to be put in a glass box, under spotlights, with a little informational placard in a museum somewhere so they can be observed for posterity, and are certainly not to be interacted with. These artists represent defiance for a strict 6 p.m. closing time.
For the reasons above, it comes as no suprise that Squarepusher has never boken into the public view. He's just never had his "Windowlicker" moment. He jumps too quickly from genre to genre, combining and mixing sounds and genres in a way that make it difficult to latch on to the standards of popular music that we as Western-style music consumers take for granted. That's not to say that Squarepusher doesn't have his melodic moments, the wizard that he is, he has produced an entire album composed enirely for solo bass guitar. Other work also includes the love letter to jazz in electronic music "Plug me in", which would fit well on any Daft Punk album. What's interesting about Damogen Furies, besides it's Cure inspired intro track Stor Eiglass (the track you'd be listenting to now if you pressed play at the top), is that the album is intended to be only half of the artistic product. Damogen Furies is in fact designed to be experienced as a dynamic live audio-visual performance, seisure inducing flashy lights and all. The interesting thing besides a procedurally generated light show, which is a representation, done up in MaxMSP from the raw audio wave, is the sound source from which the entire album was recorded.
Besides being a blender for musical conventions, Squarepusher's work as a whole is influenced by musique concrete. As such he has been in the busines of creating his own instrumentation, comprised of homemade synthesisers and drum machines, as well as his own effects for a very long time, culminating in the creation of Damogen Furies. The entirety of the recorded album is the result of this creative programing, and according to the source took no more than 20 minuites per song to record (+ some time for editing).
Here's the short of it. Squarepusher is not for everyone, but if you're a bit of a music geek like me, then either you know him and love his work, or you've never heard of him. The best part about Squarepusher though is that Damogen Furies is just another in a long line of varied and eclectic work from an amazingly diverse and mind-bendingly good artist. Ulitmately though, I say do some research and listen to Squarepusher, you might like what you find.
If so, welcome to the party. Drinks are cheap, we're open all night and there's plenty of room for more.