Be Up A Hello by Squarepusher

Tom Jenkinson returns with a new Squarepusher album after a hiatus of over half a decade. 'Be Up A Hello' represents an abrupt about-face from the bleeding-edge technology used on his last outing 'Damogen Furies', revisiting the vintage analogue and digital equipment that Jenkinson used at the start of his career in the early Nineties. He even busts out his trusty olde Commodore VIC-20.

Vinyl LP £19.60 WARPLP309R

Second pressing LP on Warp (note: this pressing does not feature the die-cut sleeve with inserts).

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Vinyl LP £19.49 WARPLP309

LP on Warp housed in a laser die-cut sleeve with four 12" inserts.

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Be Up A Hello by Squarepusher
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Ant 30 January 2020

Squarepusher will forever hold a special place in my heart ever since I hammered his ‘Feed Me Weird Things’ album to death - particularly caning ‘Theme From Ernest Borgnine’ at parties. It never left my record bag for about 10 years. Also since me and my mate were spangled on shrooms, hilariously trying to decipher what speed his 1997 EP ‘Vic Acid’ should be played at. Our minds helplessly imploding at what was blasting out of the speakers at both 33 and 45 rpm. There simply was no other music like it at the time - therefore more recent records never quite had the impact of those early ones, but still, he has such a distinctive and unique sound that as soon as the needle hits the groove on his first album in five years, it can clearly only be the work of this singular producer. He’s in fine form on this album too. 

Opening with the elastic melodic acid and skittering, spliced breaks of the subtly ecstatic ‘Oberlove’, ‘Be Up A Hello’ is basically a really fun but also kinda dark album with a very “classic” Squarepusher sound -- apparently he’s using a combination of his old clobber from the ‘90s alongside modern digital tools. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that the breakbeats/amens he splatters across this album are mind-blowingly intricate, and so effortlessly infectious they seem to get every cell in the body raving. His rhythms seem to snake and wander around all over the place yet still locked into a groove, mutating around glorious, joyous technicolour synths and frantic, squirming acid. ‘Nervelevers’ is a dancefloor ripper with its slippery breaks and manic 303 bassline - think Squarepusher in top acid jungle mode ala ‘Selection 16’, Venus No. 17’ etc. It’s a track (and this could be said of much the album) that captures the spirit, essence and BUZZ of raving without ever looking back like so much retro/pastiche hardcore/jungle/acid house that seems to be in vogue. The suitably titled ‘Speedcrank’ is magnificently demented, psychedelic, spannered acid mayhem as it twists and contorts and would just tear it up at a rave.

He manages to give his beats a wee rest as we hit the midpoint of the album with the lush, soulful palette cleanser that is ‘Detroit People Mover’ before unleashing the darkside beast ‘Vortrack’. You probably heard that one already as it appeared on a taster 12”. It’s radioactive lazer acid blips and cinematic, dramatic synths still have me tangled in knots. Things do not let up from here with the ferocious pHace melter ‘Terminal Slam’ and ‘Merkev Bass’ which is like plugging your mind into an entire arcade full of videogame cabinets all at once. At this point my cranium could literally explode, so thankfully we get a dark, chilling, introspective track in ‘80 Ondula’ that plummets us back to earth to ponder the terrifying prospect of reality. An absolute cranium cracker - best Squarepusher record in ages.



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