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4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 15, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Widely heralded as a 'return to form' legendary electronic artist Squarepusher has designed his latest LP as the next stage in his iconic lineage and as an awe inspiring live show. From the inception of Ufabulum, he has worked simultaneously on sound and picture. The project features a development of a longstanding aspect of his live work since 2005, the bespoke ''video-synthesiser'' that generates imagery according to control data and audio input. Custom designed himself, the imagery for each piece has two components, one represented on a large LED screen and the other on a screen mounted on a helmet worn by Squarepusher. The formats for Ufabulum are as special as the show. Presented as a Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl release, the 2xLP comes boxed and decorated in glow-in-the-dark ink and individually sleeved with a 12 page 12'' booklet, album download card and three track CD EP, Enstrobia. A Limited Edition CD version (only available for indie retail) also includes the Enstrobia CD, bundled in two digipaks, bound by an O card. The regular CD version and Limited Edition come with a 12 page booklet featuring art from the live performance.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B007OA0XGU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,675 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can't believe this album has been out for 2 days (legally) and I'm the first to write a review.

For starters, I am and have been a huge fan of Squarepusher for a little under a decade. I'm not going to make a mindless blanket statement about how all of Tom's work blows my mind; I could do without "Music is Rotted One Note" and a lion's share of "Selection Sixteen". With that said, every album Square releases is exceptionally different from all of his other albums. He has the uncanny ability to draw from/combine/concentrate on so many genres of music. Each time I catch wind of a new SP album, I truthfully have no idea what the f*** to expect.

Ufabulum is an exceptional album, front to cover. It houses 10 solid tracks that all have a common sound palate, without recycling the same exact synths and samples. Each song (with the exception of the airy track "Red In Blue") is exceptionally versatile and smoothly transitions through a number of different electronic music genres, with a Squarepusher twist... obviously. The most prominently featured styles include: ambient, down-tempo, and drum+bass. A nice portion of the synths have this fuzzy tone that gives me this warm feeling like I've had one glass of wine too many. Unfbulum includes (as expected) some really neat MIDI-bass work and the percussive layer(s) have obviously been sequenced by a master. I recommend this album to all Squarepusher fans as this has already become one of my favorite works in his portfolio. I also recommend this album to any fan of electronic music. Skrillex is fine and all; but shouldn't be treated as a best-in-class artist.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I suppose Tom Jenkinson requires no introduction. Any child of electronica should be familiar with his contribution to the evolution of music since his debut, "Feed Me Weird Things" (Rephlex, 1996). And even though, Jenkinson joined the Warp family in 1997, way after Autechre and Aphex Twin, his Squarepusher sound is still one of the staple commodities of the British label, and electronic music itself. Those who somehow missed the era of Squarepusher's Amen breaks and broken glitchy drums, need only to dig through his vast catalog to catch up. Among these, I highly recommend "Hard Normal Daddy" (1997), "Big Loada", (1997), "Selection Sixteen" (1999), "Go Plastic" (2001), "Venus No. 17" (2004) and my personal favorite, "Do You Know Squarepusher" (2002).

I would have preferred to stay away from regurgitating Jenkinson's vast discography, especially since I consider him an artist prominent enough for you to know, but in this case the storyline is important to revisit, to traverse his ample sonic arc. At the peak of this curve, we find Squarepusher tweaking the knobs of destructive DSP boxes and slicing up drum loops into a dizzying typhoon of collapsing beats, to what back then, as a precursor to breakcore, felt to be the most mind-warping, accelerated music I have ever heard. With an added sprinkle of AFX-like banter, as is the case with one of my all-time favorite EPs, "My Red Hot Car" (2001), Squarepusher was unstoppable and without a doubt at the top of his game.

Around 2004, for his "Ultravisor" release, Jenkinson began experimenting with live sound, layering many juxtaposed pieces with Spanish guitar and his very special fretted bass.
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Format: Audio CD
...Because it blew me away from the very first listen.

Immediately, the album kicks off with the atmospheric yet constantly moving track "4001". It features some of the catchiest drums I've ever heard, ever. They sound very sporadic, yet controlled. The way the music flows with the drums as it approaches is stunning, and the sounds themselves are very emotional and atmospheric, seeming to place me on a huge docking bay of some distant planet that only Squarepusher has visited. The second track, "Unreal Square" is also a gem. It mixes sounds characteristic of Dubstep (bass and all) and turns them into something truly unique. I'm the kind of guy who usually runs in disgust at the sound of Dubstep, but this track is really something special. It flows seamlessly from the more-catchy-than-I-thought-was-possible "main melody" into a rather beautiful and peaceful (possibly even a little sad sounding) section, and then blends the two elements later on in the track. Towards the end, the drums speed up and elements of Dubstep, drum-n'-bass, and even ambient are all mixed together and it sounds great the whole time. This is truly some innovative stuff going on here.

I won't go into too much detail about the rest of the tracks, because I want the early audience to experience it for themselves and form their own interpretations, but I thought the whole thing was a classic worthy of being called a masterpiece. There are some moments where he uses ambient breakdowns to connect parts of songs that don't sound at all ambient... And it works. My favorite Squarepusher release so far.

Also, I feel like I should briefly mention the track "Dark Steering" which gained some attention on YouTube not too long ago.
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