Author Topic: SQuarepusher - UltrAvisitoR (warp rEcords, WARPCD117) Out on 08/03/04  (Read 1373 times)

"His seventh album for Warp, Ultravisitor is a full-length epic which
   Tom has described as his best work yet, and we're inclined to agree with
   him. Ultravisitor takes the live, freeform, bass elements of
   Squarepusher's music absolutely to the next level, whilst the rhythm
   structure and songwriting easily rival the best moments of classic
   albums like Hard Normal Daddy and Feed Me Weird Things."

   "The whole album has a very live, personal feel to it - no doubt in part
   inspired by the phenomenal reactions Tom recieved to his rejuvenated
   live shows during 2003. (Parts of the album actually sound like live
   recordings, but not all is as it seems...)" -

   Due for release 08/03/04, and tipped to be one of THE electronic albums
   of the year. You need this.

   01          Ultravisitor                                          
   02          I Falcrum                                            
   03          Iambic 9 Poetry                                  
   04          Andrei                                                
   05          50 Cycles                                          
   06          Menelec                                            
   07          C-Town Smash                                
   08          Steinbolt                                            
   09          An Arched Pathway                                    
   10          Telluric Piece                                        
   11          District Line II                                      
   12          Circlewave                                          
   13          Tetra-Sync                                            
   14          Tommib Help Buss                                    
   15          Every Day I Love                                      

I have to say, was disapointed in his last album, especially the live bonus bits. And thought the only stand out track was 'Do You Know Squarepusher?'.

Here's my thoughts on it:

This kicks off with a live feel (01-ultravisitor), and to be honest I thought ahh it's just going to be noisy shite, but once you get past the familiar sounds, and the speedy 909 distant drum sounds, with his signature bass sound, (around 3 mins in) it changes for the better, and you get a nice live feel, with some bizarre but really nice sounds. I like his use of really high frequencies, they're not OTT, so you won't go "ouch my ears" but they're really sweet some of the higher pitched sounds, and finishing up with some nice organ layers, with reverse effects.

Still using the glitchy/chopped beats type sounds, but I suppose he was one of the first to start all that, a little bit of a shame to hear it again, but if it was stripped down, I suppose people would say "ahh that's not the SQUAREPUSHER sound..."

I'm not sure where he's going with (02-i falcrum) as it starts off sounding like it could be in a film score, for a suspense film, or maybe even a detective piece, whatever it is, it's freestyle!

(03-lambic 9 poetry) starts off like an old 80's love song! either a nice rhodes or hammond sound and the 4 click of drumsticks intro to a live drumming loop? else he/someone has done some live drums, interesting and after you think it's lacking bass, he slides that in with some lovely slapback echo delays, drums go a bit random toward the end, but it all feels nice and warm.

Ohhh it's (04-andrei) sounding like the Holiday programme, nice guitar, feels like I should be sat sunning myself and drinking fancy cocktails with umbrellas... a 2 min interlude.

Very slightly reminiscent of 'the horn track' (05-50 cycles) in the way this starts, it soon kicks off with some nice gurgling and twisty sounds, over a a laidback beat. Has a lot of detuned sounds, and I keep getting a vision of Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy, images flashing in front of my eyes.  3 mins in and it's over-glitch, sounds like he has met Kid 606 and Aphex in a dark alley :-/

>I wanted to skip it here, but haven't, sticking with it<

Some reversed sounds inc. speech that make your head spin, and it still feels like I'm down that dark alley.  Sounding now like The Streets, spoken words filtered and effected, while the beat drops back in, a bit of a non-starter this one really, and one that maybe the media might pick on with that line 'he's disappearing up his own midi wire here...'

Hard to put into words the start of this (06-menelec), it's like a 70's BBC sound effects intro! very space sounding, before it kicks off with a modulated bass sound and his manic style drums.  Glitch over-dose again, makes me wonder how many people listen to this and how many endure it. <<didn't like that-un at all. I'm sure similar sounds could be achieved by unplugging a jack lead and tapping it repeatedly with your finger, whilst it's still connected to the mixer :|

Live freestyle jamming run through various filters and effects (07-c-town smash) with whoops and shouts from a recorded crowd, thankfully only a short 1 & 1/2 mins.

Whizz Bang Whoosh, it's Doctor Who - almost, (08-steinbolt) kicking off sounding like The Prodigy's Poison, speeded up with that bloody breakbeat again. You would think with the library of sounds he must have by now, he'd use different breaks, this to me is just laziness. Bloody awful noisy bastard track.

Give me structure, this is just fucking noise and Bleedin' awful.

[I have to say I skipped the last 4 mins of that.]

Another weird intro (09-an arched pathway) sounding like he's left a food mixer running in the back of the studio... More glitchy noisy stuff, with some freestyling thrown in(?) - *yawn*

Maybe this is much better to see live? I dunno, but I'm sure I'm missing something as it's far too experimental.

Sounding like something from Orbital's score of Event Horizon (10-telluric piece) would fit in well in a space-esque score.

Intro to this (11-district line II) reminds me of Earth Leakage Trip, with some nice dubby delays, (I'd love to hear a nice dub track now) ummm here come the glitches, and can it be? surely not that breakbeat AGAIN :|

For. FUCKS. Sake.

Some more live drums, (12-circlewave) which doesn't seem to go anywhere for the first 1 1/2 mins, until it shapes into a nice loop, with an organ in the background, which slowly makes itself known, and with some nice effects becomes the main focus - could have benefited from an additional melody, but still, it holds it's own, and guitar added toward the end, brings it out more.

"Hello" "How are you" etc, (13-tetra-sync) kicks off with more live drums, now this is shaping up nicely with freestyle bass, filtered and effected, subtle synth lines in the distance, and the drums dropping back slightly to allow you to hear the rest of the sounds - has a great feel to it. With the amount of layers in this, you'd imagine him on stage like Jean Michel Jarre, surrounded by keyboards! heh, this track has it all, good drums, good warm melodies and structure.

Soothing (14-tommib help buss) melodies with nice delays, warm, and reminds me a little of Aphex Twin's - Rhubarb.

Guitar launches (15-every day i love) in another Holiday-esque sounding freestyle number, quite nice, but could have left this one off to have ended with the previous track.

Overall - I'm glad he's using live drums in a lot of the tracks, makes it fresh, some good tracks, but only a few, which is a shame, as I find this with a lot of albums like this, and the Boards Of Canada stuff, I only like a select few tracks.

Still extremely experimental, and maybe it works well live, I dunno, but I found it, although really diverse, hard to listen to in places.

Stand out tracks are in bold.

Would love to hear other peoples opinions of this album, and see which tracks others liked/hated!

SQuarepusher - UltrAvisitoR (warp rEcords, WARPCD117) Out on 08/03/04
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2004, 08:48:27 AM »
That quoted stuff reads like a guide to music review cliches...

described as his best work yet

You need this

Those two quotes highlight exactly why I hate music reviews...

Seventh album? Man, I only have four of them! I've been slacking:)

SQuarepusher - UltrAvisitoR (warp rEcords, WARPCD117) Out on 08/03/04
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2004, 10:08:37 AM »
Yeah, its not bad, on first listen (6.30am saturday morning), the second half sounded very Krautrock, a bit like the pre-Kraftwerk outfit Organisation.  Slightly bloated free range tracks that meander and drift.  I enjoyed it.................his live show was a bit disappointing though i must admit.


  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
SQuarepusher - UltrAvisitoR (warp rEcords, WARPCD117) Out on 08/03/04
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2004, 11:41:43 AM »
Gah, I haven't got used to it being 2004 yet. When I first saw the release date I thought, "March 2004?! That's over a year away!"

Anyway, I suppose I'll be "buying" this when I get home...

SQuarepusher - UltrAvisitoR (warp rEcords, WARPCD117) Out on 08/03/04
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2004, 12:26:28 PM »
Finally managed to "buy" this, this morning.  Doubtless I'll be buying it properly when it comes out properly.  As it's good.  I've only flicked through the tracks, but they all sound fairly good to my ears.  First track is the only one I've listened to all the way through yet, like the organs and things, nice layering and ambience in there, like.

More to come.