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Squarepusher - Venus No. 17 CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.00 | 1 ratings

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3 stars This is a 12 inch single of the track "Venus No. 17" which comes originally from the 3" mini disc that came with pre-orders of the album "Ultravisitor". So, in both cases, it was only released on limited releases. There are 2 other tracks in addition to this, and acid mix of the same song and a track called Tundra 4, a 12 minute reworking of the 2nd track from his first full album "Feed Me Weird Things". Quite honestly, this is the only recording I have heard from this artist, and reading that he is quite well talented with drums, bass and guitar, that he comes from a talented family, that he gained an interest in electronic music on top of his instrumental training, and that his music is considered a type of avant-jazz made me interested. So, when I found this 12" single in a used store, I thought I wouldn't be out too much in money or time to at least try it all out.

"Venus 17" is all about electronic music and percussion, heavy on the percussion and crazy electronic sounds. Somehow, he turns this all into an interesting musical and electronic journey. As it continues, more percussion is added, layers and layers of it, and on top of this, noise loops and a nice vibe-like melody create a very interesting and fast paced piece of art. Jazz sensibilities are carried in the way the melody interacts with the other sounds that go on. Almost psychedelic and similar to "Aphex Twin" except with much more "thickness" and less melodic.

"Venus 17 (Acid Mix)" is a reworking of the previous track, but with a lot more noise and less melody. This mix is much too busy for my taste, but there are places where the beat breaks down for short spans to at least let you come up for air. The melody only becomes apparent towards the end of the track and then you really have to listen for it.

As I said earlier, the remaining track is "Tundra 4", a much longer reworking of "Tundra" from the debut album. It starts out quite subdued and ambient and even though the rhythm starts up soon after the beginning, it stays soft for a while. This one has more of a funk vibe as it gets going, and as it builds, more electronic noises and percussion keeps getting added. The melody, driven by sustained keyboard chords, gives you a feeling of passing time, and sticks out more when the percussion quiets down later. Electronic notes and sounds continue, though the percussion drops back in the mix for a while. Things become quite chaotic around the 5 minute mark. Then, about a minute later, everything drops off except for the keyboard chords and the music returns to ambience. The keyboards take on an organ tone. Things feel cold and expansive at this point. As you lose yourself in the spaciousness of the music, suddenly at 9:25, electronic tones start up again, and builds with percussion coming back in. Things stay on the sane side of chaotic this time at least until 11:30, then it gets nuts again, but this time the keyboards is right there at the forefront with everything else as it gets quite intense before it all ends.

This little taste of Squarepusher only makes me more curious, and I should have known that would happen. I didn't care for the Acid Mix, but everything else was interesting, and I understand that it is hard to really know what his other albums might sound like based on only a few tracks. So, yes I will try out other releases, but as for this recording, at least it is good enough to not turn me off to the sound altogether.

TCat | 3/5 |


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