Squarepusher – Solo Electric Bass 1 (Warp)

Squarepusher, aka Tom Jenkinson, is of course known mainly for his brain melting jazz-influenced drum n bass (or possibly drum n bass-influenced jazz), but he is also known as something of a bass guitar virtuoso. This live album, recorded at the Cité de la Musique in Paris in September 2007, collects some of his work in that field on record for the first time – as the album’s title would suggest.

So, with nothing more than a bass guitar and an amp, Jenkinson spends 40 minutes creating sounds that frankly aren’t human, but at the same time have a warmth and accessibility often lacking on things like this. It’s not all blistering slap bass, either (although there is a lot of that). He keeps the volume and texture varied to stop the listener from drifting into a trance induced by continuous thwapping sounds.

One of the highlights of the album is a reworking of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Castles Made Of Sand’, here listed as ‘SEB 8’, on which he spends five minutes drifting in and out of recognisable riffs.

This release is a strictly limited edition affair, so if you have any interest in hearing those distinctive Squarepusher bass lines stripped of the harsh electronics, or are a lover of impressive bass playing, you should snap this up fast.

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