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Go Plastic

4.5 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 26, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is a truly groundbreaking, near perfect album, absolutely original, but completely Squarepusher. Nothing sounds like this and nothing dares to sound like this. He is a bass and programming master, proving himself way above the competition. Artwork by Tom Jenkinson himself.

Review

After 1998's Music Is Rotted One Note, Tom Jenkinson (aka Squarepusher) could've become a respectable middle-aged curmudgeon. In years of creating impertinent, freeform drum & bass-y music, he heard enough funk and musique concrète to tap his own keg of post-rave Bitches Brew. Like Yesterdays New Quintet, Rotted was weird enough to escape dad-jazz revivalism but had the craftsmanship to merit the jazz comparisons. With bass guitar-triggered samples, vintage keyboards and live drumming, the track "Don't Go Plastic" was as good an example as any of his mature, anti-pop fusion.

The first single off Go Plastic is "My Red Hot Car," a mutant two-stepping pop song. I think "I'm gonna fuck you in my red hot car" is how the hummable chorus goes, then it gets all pleasantly jungle. With the single out of the way, it's time for Jenkinson to get shit-faced drunk enough to forget all the jazz and pop nonsense, hop in that hot car and go roaring at 180 BPM in reverse through a demolition derby of dubby murk, buckling rhythms and oil-slick-rainbow melodies.

It's a mix of contemporary hardcore and vintage Squarepusher where he never lets things settle, scrabbling away with sublime ("The Exploding Psychology"'s G-funk whine) and obnoxious (the static scream of "Greenways Trajectory") results. "Remember who's the fucking daddy," says a voice on "My Fucking Sound"; a mental note that this sludge-pit of fast, ragged, round rhythm, shit and noise (call it jazz, drum & bass or hardcore) is forever Jenkinson's territory.

Daniel Chamberlin -- From URB Magazine

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 26, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B00005K9ZD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jacob Frautschi on March 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lately, Squarepusher has been outdoing himself with every release (with the exception of Do You Know Squarepusher? - a hit-and-miss EP). This is my new favorite album of his. He is the only electronic artists who can stimulate my mind as much as some of the best jazz musicians. True to jazz, most of this album's drum tracks never repeat themselves - and at the frenetic jungle-like pace he sometimes achieves, I can only wonder how much time and effort must have gone into it (and that's just the drum tracks! Influenced, I'm sure, by hearing his dad play).
Squarepusher often utilizes effects and modulates the sounds he uses as much as the notes themselves as an output for his musical genious (with just as much spontenaity, intelligence, and creativity), taking his art to the next level. Even though I'm playing this album for the 30th-40th time, I still hear something new with every listen. He really takes advantage of the electronic music production environment and crafts his work to perfection.
A few of the tracks don't stand incredibly well on their own (this is no pop album), but they fit beautifully into the whole of the work. This is truly an album - when I listen to it I listen from beginning to end (with the exception of My Red Hot Car, which is a good way to introduce friends to the crazy world of Squarepusher).
If you like Squarepusher for his jungle-jazz side, this is the epitome of his greatest work - the fusion of his earlier head-nodding hardcore and drum-n-bass with his later adventures in spaced-out-acid-jazz and avant-garde synthesizerings. It is hard for me to write a review of this man's work with out using a bunch of hyphenated or made-up words, because there is no genre - no generic name - for the music. It is Squarepusher.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been anxiously awaiting a new Squarepusher album for quite some time now (has it really been almost 3 years since the last proper Squarepusher album?). I should take a moment to describe the sound of Squarepusher, or at least the sound of Squarepusher on this record, since Tom Jenkinson has managed to sound quite different across his albums as Squarepusher. For the most part, Squarepusher specializes in extraorinarily rapid drill 'n' bass; i.e. frenetic electronic music (although on recent eps there has been more of a focus on what I'd call "disturbed ambient jazz"). There is a reason that one of the songs on this record is called Go! Spastic.
The real question is: Is this album a return to form? Personally, I really liked the Big Loada/Hard Normal Daddy-era Squarepusher, when his music was drill 'n' bass with an almost insane amount of melodic and rhythmic structure. After releasing Music Is Rotted One Note, an ode to jazz fusion that was certainly interesting but was not too much like anything he'd done before, many (including myself) worried that the heavily electronic days of Squarepusher were over. This isn't to say that Music Is Rotted One Note is a bad album; it is a good, if somewhat navel-gazing, album. However, as an electronic musician Jenkinson has definitely pushed the boundaries of idm/drum 'n' bass/or whatever label you'd like to slap on what he does so uniquely. His most recent release, an e.p. called Selection Sixteen, was (to my taste, at least) highly disappointing, so the question became: What will the next Squarepusher album be like? I don't think it's overstating the case to say that this is one of the most anticipated albums of the year.
So: is it a return to form? I would say yes and no.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I have always regarded Tom Jenkinson as a true musical genius, one of the few. His early work like "Feed Me Weird Things" and "Hard Normal Daddy" blew the roof off of drum & bass conventions with its frenetic beats and insane attention to detail.
Quality control went out the window with some of his more recent EPs, with the exception of the genuinely interesting "Music is Rotted One Note" release. And now, after a long hiatus (a welcomed one, to be sure), he has returned with "Go Plastic," easily his most accomplished work to date.
The tracks here not only reprise all areas of his backcatalogue (including some of the more caustic moments of Chaos AD) but also manage to combine them with a lot of the newer, crazier electronics of artists like Richard Devine and Otto von Schirach on the Schematic label. However, it is Jenkinsons's prowess as a musician that propels his tracks into a whole different zone from any of what else is happening in electronic music. "Greenways Trajectory," "My F*cking Sound" and "Boneville Occident" are amazing in their construction, not just in programming and technique, but in overall songwriting form; they take you on a full-blown journey.
After sitting through "Go Plastic," most likely you'll be glad it's over... and even need a few moments to recover! And then turn it on all over again.
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Format: Audio CD
Tom Jenkinson fans will remember the track "Don't Go Plastic" from his experimental Jazz album "Music Is Rotted One Note." As defined by that song and this album "to go plastic" means to have an artificial, synthetic, inhuman sound. That is exactly what he has done with this album, and it is a spectacular success.
If you're looking for easily listened, accessible music, you should probably warm up with something else, such as "Feed Me Weird Things" or better yet, "Burningn'n Tree." On "Go Plastic," Tom Jenkinson turns beats upside down, inside out and backwards in a fearlessly original sonic attack. There is nothing even remotely organic about this album.
The opening track, "My Red Hot Car," is simultaneously one of the catchiest and one of the most abrasive tracks of electronica ever recorded. I'm not even going to try to make an accurate description of it. Fortunately, Warp Records released it on MP3 a couple months ago, so you should be able to find it somewhere on the net. Listen to it. If you loved the "girl mix" of "My Red Hot Car" from the single however, this album might not be for you. The stops and starts, the jerky, remorseless breakbeats of the "boy mix" are what define "Go Plastic."
If I knew of any other albums similar to this one, I would compare them here, but I don't. I wish I did. Definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy experimental drill 'n bass, this album has a fair chance of turning out to be a favorite.
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