I have been really enjoying the new album by Squarepusher. I had feared the worst about the Shobaleader One project since I first read the Q&A.
It sounded suspiciously like Gorillaz on the cheap, complete with odd psuedo-humorous band member names. A low-budget Gorillaz would necessarily be a bad thing. But it seemed like an odd move for Squarepusher to make. And the music, while clearly the sound of Squarepusher, was shockingly immediate and borderline cheesy.
The one or two tracks that had been released as teasers for the album seemed good. But would a whole album that sounds like a proggy Daft Punk be bearable?
Amazingly, yes. I have immensely enjoyed listening to this album.
In a way, it is a logical next step for Squarepusher to take. Squarepusher has been pushing on with the fantasy-prog sound since his 2004 album, Ultravisitor. This album created a novel half-live, half-studio atmosphere. The follow-up, Hello Everything, dispensed with the live elements, but placed more emphasis on the multi-instrumental talents and a further step towards a futuro-prog sound.
Then came Just A Souvenir, introducing Squarepusher’s fantasy band concept. It was as much about the stories of what this incredible futuristic band could do on stage as about the music.
Shobaleader One and d’Demonstrator appear to take the fantasy band concept and turn it into reality. Squarepusher is promising more Shobaleader One material, and live shows too. Despite my initial doubts, I’m looking forward to seeing what is coming next in the incredible development of Squarepusher’s sound.