For an artist as deeply diverse as Squarepusher, keeping yourself interested is key. Over the years we’ve seen everything from deep electronica to jazz from the artist, so it makes sense why his latest release took five years to see the light of day. Returning to analog synths he employed during the nineties, Be Up A Hello harkens to the eighties when electronic music had a more playful tone. The modular notes that swell within each track remind us that Squarepusher is at his best when the music has him interested in what he’s doing.
The analog use here means that much of the music has a more up feeling. This comes through loud and clear on the opening track, “Oberlove.” It occurs again on “Hitsonu” and on “Speedcrank.” But you’re kidding yourself if you think this is a release full of pop tinged electronica. Squarepusher keeps things diverse throughout, offering plenty of darkness with the light.
On “Nervelevers,” the producer has flashes of brightness that peer from the dark synths. The way the beats have this nineties break beat feel is extraordinary. As your head bops back and forth to the almost Chicago techno haze filters through. With “Detroit People Mover,” the producer takes his time in getting to the drop. The ambient touches at the opening make way for plenty of soft electronics. The symphonic arrangement alone is noteworthy, but it’s the shimmers of sun that hop from the nethers that make the track so noteworthy. And while “Mekrev Bass” is a heavily diverse song, it’s “Terminal Slam” that really captured our ears. The attention to multi-layed synths creates a detailed map of sound clusters that you haven’t heard in a very long time. The synthesized bass, the way the beats are all over the place and the way the track builds up with all of these elements just show that Squarepusher is still far ahead of the curve. Even if he’s utilizing old technology.
Be Up A Hello is available on multiple formats directly from Warp Records. It’s also ready to stream on all streaming sites and it can also be purchased in all digital outlets. Squarepusher is on tour beginning March 14 in Southport, UK at Bangface Weekender until May 24 in Glasgow, UK at Riverside Festival. is complete tour dates are located here.
Image Credits: Photo by Donald Milne.