In the world of IDM you have to be ever-changing as an artist. It’s a genre of music that beckons for you to pour every little inkling you have of creativeness in your body into a pot and to stir. Unfortunately what a lot of people do is just make music that recalls the glory days of when Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and Venetian Snares were all at the top of their game. Last year saw the return of Aphex Twin with his first album in 13 years – the songs all basically sounded like updated, more technical versions of what he was doing in his hey-day – it was fantastic. Yet Squarepusher has never been the mysterious one like Richard D James; he’s never really sunk back and has instead always tried to evolve with the times while remembering where his roots lay.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Damogen Furies in many ways, is a complete cacophony of an album. One where the thoughts of coherency and sticking to a certain theme are non-existent. Over the course of this album Squarepusher jumps about between certain points in his career more-so than ever before. The album opener ‘Stor Eiglass’ has these big optimistic glittery synth lead over the top of his signature ever-changing drum patterns and rhythms. Whereas as the track following it, ‘Baltang Out’, is a polar opposite with gloomy downtrodden synths that slowly build with these industrial noises over the top of them.
It’s hard to complain about the lack of coherency when so much of what’s heard this album still sounds as though Squarepusher is putting thought into it. On one of the best tracks from the album ‘Rayc Fire 2′ every single buzzing synth is matched in line with the drum beat making it a powerhouse assault on the ears considering how all out Squarepusher likes to go on twisting his rhythms. It’s concise and is done with great care. The moments where he uses some of his old formulas, where he completely messes around with breakbeats, are some of the best moments on the album. Especially when he mixes it with what he’s been flirting with on some of his other previous projects where he takes influence from modern dubstep. The track ‘Exjag Nives’ sounds like it’s almost ready to be played at festivals like Tomorrowland. This album is filled with synth melodies that are some of the most poppy that Squarepusher has done in years.
Although in many ways as an actual album this is somewhat a mess in terms of coherency, and nothing on here sounds particularly new to his catalogue, it’s like a pit-stop in Squarepusher’s career where he can look back and can afford to not come up with anything particularly original or new. That’s not to say this album sounds like an artist who’s stagnant; every song on here sounds like it’s been crafted meticulously in the way that Squarepusher has always. He sounds like an auteur who realises how people like his craft, and how to package his craft in a way that sounds familiar, yet satisfyingly fresh on the ears.