By: Eric Greenwood
Squarepusher follows up last year’s fusion-jazz-based Music Is Rotted One Note with another weird foray into live instrumentation. Budakhan Mindphone is less jazzy and more experimental. Ambient electronics replace the relentless snare and fretless bass, but this is still a far cry from Squarepusher’s unique strain of frenetic drum n’ bass best delineated on the Big Loada EP. Retro-Atari-like sound effects wheedle you into to Squarepusher’s bizarre world of unorthodox rhythms and instrumental breakdowns.
Budakhan Mindphone exemplifies how stubbornly Squarepusher refuses to repeat himself. The layers of clinks and clanks in the EP’s closer, “Gong Acid”, create a boundless jungle of beats that offer new explorations with every listen. “Iambic 5 Poetry” is a sleek, melancholic detour into a hazy, futuristic world. “Fly Street” is even darker but equally low-key. By “The Tide” Squarepusher lurks back into some jazzy bits, melding aspects of his past and present styles.
There are only a handful of artists forging ahead at the rate of Squarepusher and even fewer posses such a high caliber of musicianship. Budakhan Mindphone is much more than an afterthought of Music Is Rotted One Note- it carves out its own niche of spasmodic rhythms and sinister cadences from a wasteland of retro-jazz-fusion-funk.