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How Squarepusher Pushes Boundaries Of Sound And Vision

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 03:04 PM

Squarepusher's innovative lighting and distinctive helmet is the perfect companion to his dense electronic dance music. Squarepusher's innovative lighting and distinctive helmet is the perfect companion to his dense electronic dance music. (courtesy of the artist)

The challenge for electronic artists in a live setting is often a visual one -- a producer sitting at a laptop and occasionally pressing a button often doesn't make for a riveting spectacle for music fans to latch onto. But for Squarepusher -- a.k.a. Tom Jenkinson -- this is not a problem. The U.K. artist has invented both audio and video gear that make his live performances stand out.

Squarepusher had not played live in New York in eight years before a gig earlier this year, and now he's announced he'll be back on November 1 at New York's own Terminal 5 as part of a fall tour supporting his latest record Ufabulum. To give you an idea of what his music looks like (yes, I chose that verb deliberately), this video of his song "Dark Steering" showcases the amazing audio/video rig he's constructed.

 

 

Squarepusher says that the idea of the piece is a "spacecraft leaving earth at vast speed to escape, but oddly the music also made me think of it flying through a library. So I generated the visual aspect such that, as the piece progresses, it seems as if the viewer is ever accelerating through massive corridors of books."

This so-called "video synthesizer" produces the patterns that you see on both the big screen and on the helmet that covers his head, making Squarepusher himself into something like a fractal, a smaller part that echoes the larger whole. 

It's an innovative concept that fits beautifully with Squarepusher's ever-evolving music.

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