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Big Loada

Big Loada

July 21, 1997
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product Details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Tom Jenkinson aka Squarepusher has been through a lot in his brief career. Starting with his Spymania drum&bass tinged releases through his fusionesque "Music is Rotted One-Note" and to his current uneasily categorized electronica, Squarepusher has kept listeners guessing, and rarely bored. This American release is a collection of 3 of his 'drill & bass' EPs from the late 1990s (for lack of better description): Port Rhombus, Vic Acid, and Big Loada. This CD contains what I think is the best of this era of Squarepusher, though Hard Normal Daddy is nearly as good.
Squarepusher, whether or not you enjoy his music, is an amazing programmer/sequencer. His drums, unlike typical drum & bass, rarely loop, and are constantly changing in sound, rhythm, and at times, speed. This is most evident on tracks like 'A Journey to Reedham,' which also features a strikingly pretty synth line, 'Tequila Fish,' and 'Come on My Selector,' the album's hit, if it has one (the CD also contains an excellent video for this song, directed by Chris Cunningham, director of superb Bjork and Aphex Twin clips). Squarepusher is known as something of a bedroom musician: All of these songs were created in his home, and one has to wonder how much time it took to make these incredibly intricate songs. The only real problem with this, and all of Squarepusher's releases, lies in his bass-playing. Squarepusher likes to add live bass to some of his songs, and unless you are a fan of his Jaco Pastorius-style funky bass-playing, which I cannot say that I am, it sometimes is a little too much. Luckily, on Big Loada, it rarely gets in the way.
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Format: Audio CD
Tom Jenkinson, like many of his labelmates, makes music that show us that electronic music doesn't always mean a consistent thump of bass over slowly changing harmonics. Tom Jenkinson's music is truly engaging in every sense of the word. It makes the listener actively absorb every facet and subtle element of the dense complexity of the music. Although, it is not to be said that listening to his work is arduous or exhausting, it merely allows for a deeper and more complete appreciation. Squarepusher is not for everybody, as is common in progressive music. Jenkinson creates thickly layered beats, rhythms and harmonies.
When one listen's to Jenkinson's beats it can conjure up the image of a hundred-armed jazz drummer. Much of it's influence is derived from that genre. Squarepusher's drill-and-bass take on that style of drumming is, although occasionally confusing, nothing short of brilliant. His ear for rhythm and the tweaking and manipulation of it is amazing.
On "Big Loada" Squarepusher somewhat departs from his often jazz-heavy music. There is a much more synthetic, mathematical feel. "Journey to Reedham (7 AM Mix)", one of the album's best tracks, is also unlike much of his previous efforts. This is so in the sense that it is much more happy and up-beat than even the more optimistic tracks on previous albums. The song conjures up the exact image it's title implies, one of being half-awake, on a road-trip, driving into the rising sun as it leaves the horizon.
"Come on my Selecter", another amazing track on the album is break-neck to say the least. This track moves like an amphetamine-soaked hummingbird. Meant, I am supposing, for club-goers who enjoy contorting their bodies and flailing their limbs at a million miles per hour.
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Format: Audio CD
Squarepusher is genre-less. Sure, you can say drum and bass, but the jazz influence, the live bass playing, and the sheer chaotic perfection that is Squarepusher can only be described as that; Squarepusher. I love a whole lot of Squarepusher's work, but this one in particular. With songs such as Port Rhombus, so beautiful and groovy, Massif, Come On My Selector, and Journey to Reedham, I can't help but listen to these songs over and over and over again. And after I'm done, I pick up my jaw and walk back into the world of musical mediocracy.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of those albums that you can listen to and be enthralled by the joyous melodies and destroyed by the insanity of the percussion. Squarepusher seems to be able to do that to his listeners on almost all of his albums. Squarepusher's Tom Jenkinson has a way with his albums, you can tell everyone of his albums is actually by him, yet at the same time, every album has their own unique style about them. This album seems to take the synths from standardized rave music and orchestrate them better with a bit of funk bass and supersonic drums. Somehow Jenkinson makes the drill n' bass technique seem easy and is able to form the ultimate catchiness out of the hyperkenitic styles that run together.
If you like your mind to be drilled and challenged with ever changing music that keeps a consistency about it, you will probalby enjoy this album. For many people, however, it will simply be too much. It is almost like a jock bragging about a military obstacle course being a peice of cake and becoming winded over the first wall. Big Loada' might look easy to tackle from the outside, but once you run the gambit, only the people that holds the most sanity (or insanity??) survives.
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