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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


Sophia Loizou on ‘Do You Know Squarepusher’ single (2001)

‘Do You Know Squarepusher’ was a go-to driving tune for me in the early 2000s. I have many fond memories of bombing through the Somerset countryside at night in my VWLT35 van listening out for the free party. The track has such an awesome melody – very human yet still quite machine-like – like a cybernetic dream-state. I absolutely love the melody and processed vocal in the chorus section, its production values were way ahead of its time. The rhythms, pacing and attention to detail in this track is insane. Those glitchy fills and rhythmic embellishments are so incredibly accomplished. This was a time before many of the now commonly used computer-based audio effects existed, so the craft (and graft) involved in creating this track was pretty impressive! I also love the punk-esque intent, this track embodied a real lack of reverence for rules and accepted conventions, it really smashed together some pretty disparate genres creating a bizarre kind of internal tension… To me it was outsider music, which massively resonated.

I first heard Squarepusher when I was an undergraduate studying music production, I was massively into jungle and drum & bass back then so the hyper-rhythmic elements in his music really appealed to me. I’d come to electronic music through industrial and thrash metal in the early 90’s and I recognised aspects of these forms in his ethos and approach – some of his arrangements were like electroacoustic meets traditional songwriting. I was particularly into a combination of breakbeats and emotional melodic parts or vocal hooks at this time, which Squarepusher did in a profoundly different way to the other artists of the era. There was a type of juxtaposition in his tracks that really captured me, a clinical production aesthetic, but with some really emotional melodic and harmonic relationships. I found this approach to be super futuristic but in a kind of hyper-humanist way.

I guess one of the other things that really struck me was how the sound design was so incredibly crafted, in many ways reminiscent of the electroacoustic music I studied at university but way more accessible. I really loved that about his music, bringing those hardcore academic processes and ideas together with more traditional tonal music but with a dance music reach. His music also had a really sci-fi aesthetic, particularly on my two favourite releases – the Go Plastic album and the single ‘Do You Know Squarepusher’. They both brought with them a kind of cybernetic outer space vibe which is something that has always been very central to my own work.