Release Date: Oct 28, 2008
Record label: Warp
Genre(s): Indie, Electronic
From the fevered imagination of Squarepusher's Tom Jenkinson, Just a Souvenir attempts to soundtrack a vivid dream where Jenkinson experienced a live concert like none other. Surprisingly, the album succeeds despite the dream's inclusion of portions where a river appears on-stage (forcing bandmembers to begin kayaking) and all the drums in the Eskimo's drumkit repeatedly changing places with each other. Obviously, the fact that a piece of art springs from a dream isn't very rare, nor is the fact that dreams are usually surreal, but this tale becomes important because it's a key way to describe the sound of the music -- kinetic, hyperactive, quickly changing from one previously unimaginable piece of music-making to another.
Squarepusher a.k.a. Tom Jenkinson has flirted with revealing the creative process behind his work before: the Squarepusher Manifesto included with Do You Know Squarepusher was a glimpse into the mind of someone who takes his work very seriously indeed. Accompanying his new release Just a Souvenir is 'Just a Story', an altogether more esoteric look inside the mind of one of British Electronica's stalwarts.
Tom Jenkinson has always moved to the left of centre and, on revealing the premise for his 12th album, he has clearly gone round the bend. For this relatively short opus Jenkinson claims to have captured a dream he had of "a crazy, beautiful rock band playing an ultra-gig" with an Inuit drummer. Despite Jenkinson playing every instrument, including his customised six-string bass, it does sound like a group effort.
You really need to read the full account of the daydream on which this recording is based to fully “get” what’s happening on this 12th album from Tom Jenkinson (a.k.a. Squarepusher). In short: Jenkinson had a daydream about a show played by a sonically and visually inventive five-piece rock band. Explosions, onstage rivers and a drum kit with a mind of its own are just the tip of the iceberg.
It's been two years since UK electronic innovator Squarepusher (aka Tom Jenkinson) released new material; this lengthy offering comes complete with a detailed manifesto about its inspiration. Too bad it reads like your kid brother's first 'shroom trip. According to Jenkinson, Just A Souvenir is the result of a daydream about a band playing a gig in front of a giant, magical glowing coat hanger.