In mid-January 2020, Tom Jenkinson quietly celebrated his 45th birthday. Even though Jenkinson has been interested in music since childhood, his initial foray as a performer was as a bass player for thrash metal bands in London. After a few years of playing gigs, his attention shifted towards the nascent electronic dance music scene, which at the time was transitioning from Detroit house to European techno. It only took Jenkinson a couple of years to fall in love with this scene, and by 1994 he was managing his own record label and releasing his own EPs under the name Stereotype.
Life Before Squarepusher
Things happened very fast for Jenkinson, a musician who has always been naturally curious. He remembers being a child captivated by any electronic equipment that could make, transmit, or reproduce sound; later in life, when he was a bass player, he was deeply interested in the work of sound engineers and guitar technicians. When he first heard Detroit’s house, his first thought was “I wonder what type of equipment they used for recording?” His first love was the Roland SH-101 analog synthesizer, and this was part of the gear he used to record the seminal album “Feed Me Weird Things” under his new DJ name, Squarepusher.
The Squarepusher University Years
Jenkinson will be the first to tell you that he was at the right place and the right time in terms of entering the EDM scene. Subgenre styles such as drum and bass plus breakbeat were multiplying, and he was absorbing them all. Just a few years into his first releases as Squarepusher, he locked into a five-record deal with an emerging label, and he ended up postponing his education at Chelsea Art College. This would be one of the most productive periods of his career, and it was underscored by being featured in a Dutch documentary film about the EDM revolution of the 1990s.
Squarepusher and Intellectual Dance Music
Inspired by musicians such as Aphex Twin and Photek, Jenkinson started producing tracks that would later be labeled as IDM, which is a term he is not particularly fond of. Squarepusher is all about trying new things; he does not believe this is a matter of intellectual endeavor as much as it is listening to music and producing in different ways. Nonetheless, his embrace of musique concrète plus the incorporation of live bass tracks are mostly appreciated by fans of cerebral EDM.
Taking a Forced Break from Playing Bass
In 2009, Jenkinson released an album that consisted of nothing more than bass solos. Around the same time, he dusted off old equipment dating back to his childhood years. A couple of years ago, he broke his wrist in an accident that rendered him unable to play bass. This event forced him to spend more time in his home studio, and this resulted in the inspiration for his latest album, “Be Up a Hello.” Unable to play bass for the purpose of developing grooves, Squarepusher went all electronic, and the process drove him to spend two days on a single track before committing to something he would record.
“Be Up a Hello” Includes an Important Dedication
Jenkinson lost a good friend in March 2018, and this loss is reflected in some of the tracks of his latest album, which critics are describing as being one of the best examples of IDM. There is nostalgia for the pioneering period that Squarepusher came of age in, and the album artwork was designed on a vintage Commodore Vic-20 computer, but he is not pandering to the vaporwave crowd; instead, he thought about his late friend’s proclivity for being extremely technical, and this is something that can be clearly heard on the album.
Hamed Wardak currently splits his time between his home in New York City and On the island of Puerto Rico. (Hamed) Wardak is the son of a former defense minister for Afghanistan. Hamed Wardak is an entrepreneur and recently joined the techno music world, creating, producing, and performing his new artistry in underground techno clubs all over the world. Hamed Wardak is known as Valen of Wicked.