Somewhere along the line after the release of his Music Is Rotted One Note album, Tom Jenkinson lost me a bit. In the time since then, he's released a whole shedload of music, and while he's certainly put out a fair amount of great work, he's also seemingly not a very good editor of his own material, bogging down albums with too many filler tracks and needless diversions. Part of the problem could possibly simply be that the market is a lot more crowded than when he started, but with recent releases it seems that Jenkinson has largely been going through the motions.
Although it's just as scattered sounding as several of his past albums, Hello Everything seems to be cut from a slightly different cloth. Perhaps it's the more playful album artwork throwing off my perception, but it really does seem like Jenkinson is simply allowing himself to have a bit more fun on his newest effort. His insane bass playing is back and prominent on most tracks, and in addition to slamming several tracks with completely wicked beats, he manages to throw a few curves out that work as well. "Hello Meow" opens the album with some seriously infectious melodies (dueled-up on vibes and synths) some chopped-up Amen breaks, and some of the best bass work from Jenkinson in a long time.
From there, the album is all over the map. "Theme From Sprite" goes downright lounge as slappy bass and guitar mingle with chimes and live drumming while "Bubble Life" is some sly mixture of past tracks, throwing together squealing analogue synths, tinny beats, and more funky as hell bass. "Vacuum Garden" arrives about halfway through the disc and veers into complete left field as layers of manipulated sine waves make for a six minute slice of eerie drone. "Circlewave 2" is one of the bigger surprises, as Jenkinson mixes heavily-reverbed live drums and keyboard drones with super expressive bass and guitar playing that sounds almost Morricone-inspired.
A large part of the rest of the effort is Jenkinson working the drill and bass angle to varying degree. "Planetarium" is dark as heck and howls with a deep analogue bass and squiggling melodies over the top that keep the mood slightly lighter while "Plotinus" builds into one of the more trippy and dense things that he's ever done, with layers of cascading synths and bass work spilling all over one another while rapid-fire beats shell the surroundings. The eleven-minute closing track of "Orient Orange" is sort of a good summary of the album as a whole, even though the more experimental piece doesn't really have much in common with the rest of the album, as it has its moments, but could have used a touch of editing. That said, despite the inconsistencies, Hello Everything is one of the best things that Jenkinson has done in some time. If you're a fan of his work, it's well worth seeking out.