ith his first full-length album in a few years Tom Jenkinson returns to his drill 'n' bass roots. During the large number of releases in 1998 and 1999 Jenkinson went away from the spastic sped-up breakbeats of his full length release Big Loada. Citing that he had taken drum 'n' bass as fast and as crazy as it could gone, Jenkinson released the album "Music is Rotted One Note," an avant-jazz record that took much more from Lamonte Young and Miles Davis than it took from either Goldie or Aphex Twin. He then followed "MIRON" with two EPs along the same lines.
No one knew what to expect next from Jenkinson when he came out with his new single "My Red Hot Car." The first music heard since the varied "Selection Sixteen," "My Red Hot Car" deconstructs two-step into Jenkinson's own twisted musical vision. Remnants of his spactic drill 'n' bass stylings remained on the single, but were only found in muted form. Hopes were high that this might be a new direction fro Jenkinson, almost ignoring the drum 'n' bass that made so well known and abandoning it for... two step? "First Photek goes to house music, and now Squarepusher," was the common refrain I heard from many people.
The album starts off with "My Red Hot Car." I was almost nervous when the next track rolled around in my CD player, but I was then more than surprised to hear a straight up drill 'n' bass workout that sounded much like his work on Big Loada. As for the rest of the tracks, they are mostly drill 'n' bass influenced with a few exceptions along the way. Both "Metteng Excuske V1-2" and "Tommib" offer up short melodic nuggets echoing a bit of Boards of Canada and the last track, "Plaistow Flex Out," is a trip hop influenced number which serves as a good come down track from the hyperspeed breakbeats on most of the tracks. As with most Squarepusher releases, this work is unbalanced and has definite highlights and lowlights. On almost every Squarepusher release I find myself hitting the "track forward" button on my CD player to get to a different song that I like much better. Whether it is a case of too many ideas in his head or the addition of too many tracks during production, "Go Plastic" is a complex and deep release from Squarepusher. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it good or his best.