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Feed Us Weird Things: Artists On Their Favourite Squarepusher Music
Patrick Clarke , June 17th, 2021 10:10

To mark the new reissue of Squarepusher's debut album 'Feed Me Weird Things', the likes of Loraine James, John Frusciante and Danalogue pick their favourite albums and tracks by the game-changing producer

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Bobby Krlic, aka The Haxan Cloak on Feed Me Weird Things (1996)

I first heard Squarepusher when I was around 14/15. I was always into electronic music in one way or another, and was just getting into DJ’ing, so I was amassing a lot of records at the time; most of it being East Coast boom-bap-type stuff, all the Bristol trip hop things, big beat, and UK drum and bass/jungle. I’d begun exploring producing my own electronic music also, via a second hand iMac and a cracked copy of Reason.

I remember everyone was banging on about Aphex at the time, as ‘Windowlicker’ had recently come out. Back then, it was harder to find stuff, though. I had some friends who were really into Warp, and knew some people that worked there, so I eventually checked it out. I remember going to the website; it was much different to how it is now (I really miss that design - it felt so futuristic). There was this little music player embedded into it that would cycle through the Warp catalogue, and I remember ‘Come On My Selector’ playing at random. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I loved D’n’B and jungle, but this just felt insane. That music was hypnotic and had a groove, but this felt frenetic, free, and wonderfully mischievous in a way that most other music I was listening to didn’t or couldn't. It was also coupled with an undeniable virtuosity, that could have so easily drifted into a “look at me” prog zone, but somehow he always kept a lid on that, or subverted it.

I found a lot of electronic music that incorporated live instruments around that time to be a little limp, or that the “live” element felt tacked on, as part of a tedious genre exercise. Squarepusher’s inclusion of live bass and drums felt like the antithesis of that attitude. It made me invigorated again at the meeting of these two, on paper, disparate worlds. It certainly, as classically trained musician, re-contextualised my relationship to that in moving forward with my own music too, and remains with me to this day.

He was the first person I saw perform that used sound-reactive visuals in a way that I really liked. He has these two huge LED walls either side of the stage, and the room was extremely dark. He plays bass in this overtly percussive way, and the LEDs were triggered by his bass guitar. So you’d have pitch blackness, and then he would POP on his bass, triggering this almighty bright-white burst of LEDs that burned across the room. It was so intense, coupled with the pressure of the sound. It became a blueprint forever, of how I want to experience live music.

Feed Me Weird Things just reminds me of a very specific time of my life. It fused together so many things I was interested in (jazz, jungle, breakbeat, ambient music, electronica, classical music, programming etc) in a way that was so inspiring and so liberating, because I didn’t think it was possible for all of these things to exist in one place and for it to feel so natural. It’s also quite a dark record, much darker than most of his other ones. ‘UFOs Over Leytonstone’ was a particular turning point in terms of inspiration for my own music, and it’s still a track I return to all the time. I love how it became re-contextualised years later with the release of ‘Tundra 4’. I love that idea of returning to something like that. It must mean that the first version of that track really meant something, or was some kind of blueprint.

Although I am picking this album as a whole as my favorite release, I would be remiss to not mention the song, ‘Iambic 5 Poetry’ from Budakhan Mindphone, which, in my opinion, is absolute timeless perfection. Goosebumps every time.