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My Red Hot Car

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Album Review

"My Red Hot Car" is the closest thing Tom "Squarepusher" Jenkinson has put out that resembles a Top 40 song, if nothing else, because there are lyrics sung along with it. Beyond that, everything we expect from the artist comes true — jungle rhythms, erratic bass riffs, and jazzy chord progression. The previous two EPs and his 1998 full-length Music Is Rotted One Note seemed to be swimming around in sloppy freeform jazz, only to return to tighter form with the album Selection Sixteen, and further still with this mostly tight single. Track two's "Red Hot Car" remix sounds like Jenkinson simply put the original song into his computer and threw frequent skips and spins on it, making this the weakest of the set. Next comes "Hardcore Obelisk," an entirely vocal wash of sound, right out of the monkey-meets-monolith scene in Kubrick's 2001; a menacing, ominous drone that, in and of itself, is barely interesting. It is only in conjunction with the rest of the EP that the track works as well as it does. Track 4, "I Wish You Obelisk" (presumably a remix), takes us back to the sputtering percussion that Jenkinson does best, heavily garnished with ring-modulated keyboard noise (a sure-fire bet you won't be humming along to this one). What follows is 23 minutes of silence before a final hidden track appears; one that hearkens back to the mid-'70s release from Brian Eno, Music for Films. A meditative piece that proves to be the hidden gem of this versatile taste of things to come.


Born: 17 January 1975 in Chelmsford, Essex, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tom "Squarepusher" Jenkinson makes manic, schizoid, experimental drum'n'bass with a heavy progressive jazz influence and a lean toward pushing the clichés of the genre out the proverbial window. Rising from near-total obscurity to drum'n'bass cause célèbre in the space of a couple of months, Jenkinson released only a pair of EPs and a DJ Food remix for the latter's Refried Food series before securing EP and LP release plans with three different labels. His first full-length work, Feed Me Weird Things...
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