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Virtuoso Tom Jenkinson heads up his Shobaleader One full band project, which includes players Strobe Nazard, Arg Nution and Company Laser. For their second full length Elektrac they have taken on a load of Squarepusher’s tracks and worked out how to play them as a band. Company Laser’s drumming on Journey To Reedham alone is ludicrous, but it has to be.

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Elektrac by Shobaleader One
2 reviews. Write a review for us »

10/10 William Macbeth Customer review, 16th March 2017

Part 1

I love Squarepusher; I think he’s a genius.

I have to admit, however, though it pains me, that I didn’t particularly ‘enjoy’ Damogen Furies. In fact, when I listen to Damogen Furies, it feels like my ears are being beaten up; beaten up in an unusually inventive and masterful fashion, but beaten up all the same.

But now: Elektrac. Exciting. Squarepusher has a band!

The album’s opener, The Swifty, begins with the sound of drumsticks being tapped together. This is real. Or is it? Crowd noise. Is this a live album? I’m not aware that it’s been billed as such. At times it sounds like it could be. At other times it sounds like it couldn’t possibly be. This is Squarepusher fucking with your head. Feeding you weird things. Enjoy it. Savour it. Appreciate it. They’re just getting warmed up.

Here we go. Cooper’s World. What have we here? Cop show theme? Long-lost library music? Alien funk? Why does everything have to be categorised? This is Squarepusher. I get the feeling that Tom is letting the other guys take the limelight here, while his bass sits contentedly in the mix, keeping an eye on everything, making sure that no one fucks up.

By the time Don’t Go Plastic rolls around the band have fully loosened up. They’re working out now. But it’s more than just showing off. It is showing off, of course, but it’s also more than that. It’s pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with a bass guitar. No one else in the world can do this. Not like this. At times I feel like I’m tripping. How is this even possible? Crowd noise. As if human beings can even do stuff like this.

Iambic 5 Poetry is just beautiful. Lovely. Sublime. Words fall short. Iambic pentameter reinvented for the future. And all for you. If you choose to listen. Just listen to it. Stop reading this bullshit and just listen to it. That melody! Can you play this song at my funeral please?

Crowd noise. Big smile. Squarepusher Theme. If commercial space travel ever becomes a reality, this is what they should play at take off. I can imagine everyone screaming and cheering, while playing air bass guitar. “Squarepusher! Whoa! Space! Yeah! Space is the place! Yeah! Come on!” This is just good fun. Plain old, honest-to-goodness fun. Play it at your kid’s party. They’ll love it too. If they don’t, disown them. Send them away. Get a new one. They don’t deserve you.

10/10 William Macbeth Customer review, 16th March 2017

Part 2

Side Two begins with E8 Boogie. There’s no way a human being should be able do this. It’s like Prometheus stole fire but kept it for himself, knowing, rightly, that it would be squandered if shared amongst the rest of mankind. It twists and turns. It flickers and smoulders. It’s alive. It’s fire. It’s musical fire. Fire music.

God, this is fun. Serious fun. Squarepusher certainly knows how to enjoy himself. He’s no po-faced genius. Sometimes, he just likes to let it all hang loose and have a bit of fun. It can’t all be pushing the boundaries of sensory experience. Although it is, anyway, just because it can. You’ll get lost in Deep Fried Pizza if you allow yourself. If you don’t, it’s your own fault. No one else’s fault but your own.

Megazine is like Voodoo Chile for the twenty-second century. It’s sort of like what I imagine the inside of Albert Einstein’s head might have sounded like. Or maybe if Albert Einstein had been born in the ‘60s, and not wasted his life on science, and formed a heavy metal band instead, this is what they would have sounded like. Or maybe not quite this good, but somewhere close.

And Delta-V is their hit single. It’s getting a bit dirty here. It’s evolved rock music. To be honest, this track and the preceding one are my least favourite moments on the album. But they’re still more fun than a waterpark when you’re a kid.

Anstromm Feck 4 is a fucking great title. What does it mean? I expect it means something. And I expect, if you knew what it meant, you would probably be able to travel through time, or drink whisky straight without grimacing, or something like that. This one’s like a new breed of insect, but an insect that fucks with your head, rather than just annoying you. You know how when you look really closely at an insect, they look like an alien creature, and you just can’t quite believe the wonder and majesty of this incredible planet, that’s what this song is a bit like.

And then, finally, the more said about Journey to Reedham the better. This is the sound of joy. This is the sound of ecstasy. This is the sound of excitement. This is the sound of a teenager jumping around in their bedroom. This is the sound of falling in love. This is the sound of dreams coming true. This is the sound of freedom. Say more things about this song.

“Is it really that good?” I hear you ask.

“Yes,” I reply. “Absolutely. Yes it is.”

“But can anything really be that good?” I hear you ask.

“Yes,” I reply. “Yes it can. Hear it for yourself.”

My only complaint is that I want more. Right now. I want ten albums of this stuff. I want Shobaleader One to record every single fucking song that Squarepusher has ever produced. And I want Squarepusher to keep producing new songs simultaneously, and I want Shobaleader One to record those too.

Don’t end. No, please don’t end.

Crowd noise.

Big smile.


Shobaleader One - Journey to Reedham - YouTube



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