Squarepusher Damogen Furies Warp
Tom ‘Squarepusher’ Jenkinson describes Damogen Furies as an exploration of the “nightmarish and brutally visceral” side of electronic music. In other words, it’s a tough listen even to his standards. Reportedly it’s all recorded live with no edits, which is of course hugely impressive although kind of irrelevant when you’re listening to it at home.
Squarepusher’s talent and ability were never in question. In technical terms, not many come close to his detail and complexity. But Jenkinson seems to be going deeper and deeper into his own universe and leaving the rest of us behind.
The new album does have its moments but unlike classic records like Go Plastic and Ultravisitor, they’re too few and far between. Rayc Fire 2 starts with a promising groove but by the end you feel beaten over the head with endless variations of syncopated synths stabs. Exjag Nives is a highlight for its relative subtlety and poise. Kontenjaz on the other hand, flits between a deconstruction not dissimilar to stadium dubstep or a happy hardcore build up.
Damogen Furies is essentially the sound of a producer who continues to alienate himself from the world around him. This does yield some unique sounds and you certainly couldn’t accuse him of lacking integrity or vision, but it also makes for a difficult, at points traumatic, listen. Worst of all, you don’t get the impression Jenkinson is having much fun either. Perhaps that’s the point.