Squarepusher - Maximum Priest EP
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Squarepusher
Maximum Priest EP

1999 was one of Tom Jenkinson's big years. The self-styled bedroom composer (check out the movie Modulations if you're not sure what I'm talking about) followed up his 1998 release Music Is Rotted One Note with not one or two, but three EPs. While that may not typically sound like a lot of music, two of them clocked in at over a half-hour each while one of them ran the length of a regular release.

Maximum Priest, the second in the series of three, pretty much stays the course he set off with on his first of the series Budakhan Mindphone. In fact, out of seven tracks on the release, there are only 4 new ones (3 are remixes) and even a couple of those sound very similar to tracks on the first EP.

Things start out in very similar fashion as Budakhan Mindphone with the track "Song: Our Underwater Torch." After leading in with some dripping water noise, some loose drums provide a skeletal framework for the song before he lays down some pretty, keyboard melodies that fall in somewhere just above those that you might hear at a church service. On "Decathlon Oxide," the crazy programmed beats of old skitter and strike their way through a bunch of almost found-sound ambience before the track moves into the twilight zone with all kinds of creepy noises and some thick bass pulses. Even "You're Going Down" sounds pretty familiar with its downtempo, almost lounge feel. That is, before it cuts loose a bit with a strange sample and starts banging a bit.

Just before the remix section of the disc hits, the short, rather needless "Cranium Oxide" drops with a sample of someone yelling over some grating static. Then, Autechre takes "Two Bass Hit" and gives it the android treatment before Yee-King turns "Circular Flexing" into a blurping, cut-up version of the original. Luke Vibert reworks "Shin Triad" into a funky little number (that feels like it could have come right off his Tally Ho! album to close out things. Overall, there are some interesting things going on (mostly on the remixes), but it's not really anything that Jenkinson hasn't done before.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00