Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Squarepusher - Bass Maniac


BenLoy

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

 

Sorry I haven't been around as of late...but I thought I should drop in to tell you that Squarepusher has a couple records out that feature his incredible bass playing like never before. I swear this isn't Spam...I'm just too excited not to share.

 

His album Just a Souvenir is Squarepusher all the way, with lots of electronic craziness mixed up with live instrumentation (all played by him). Many of the tracks feature him tweaking out on bass, guitar, drums and computers with equally matched virtuosity coupled with insanity. I haven't gotten all the way through this album yet but I love what I've heard thus far.

 

He's got another release that should be of special interest to bass players out there, however: Solo Electric Bass 1. Just Squarepusher live in front of an audience with only a bass, an amp and his unique musical voice. Check out a clip:

 

[video:youtube]

 

Okay, back to geekin' out for me. Later!

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Well, it isn't how I would've played it. :D

 

So cool. I've wanted to tune a 6-string like a guitar for years. I haven't listened to Squarepusher in a few years. I think I'll try to dig up some of his stuff next time at the record store.

 

Thanks, Ben!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1.

 

I bought 'Just A Souvenir' a few months ago and it's fantastic.Bizarrely, I am less impressed with the YouTube clips above than tracks like 'Star Time 2' and 'The Coathanger', both off the above album. Great bass playing mixed with innovative electronica - very cool stuff.

 

Not heard his solo electric album yet, but I believe it's on iTunes now, so I might have a look.

 

Those of you who haven't checked this guy out - it's worth it.

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Upon reflected listening of both albums, I would agree, Stuart. "Just a Souvenir" I find more appealing from a strictly musical standpoint. But I know that some bass players get so tied up in "bass music" that some actual solo bass footage of Squarepusher probably would be the most effective introduction.

 

He's seriously gifted at making astounding music on almost any object he can get his hands on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I like his mashed-up electronica but I've got to say I'm quite critical of his bass playing, despite his obvious ability.

 

First of all, the chords and harmonies he uses for his bass playing are quite conventional (in total contrast to his electronica) and he seems very obviously influenced by classical guitar convention. I don't hear much in terms of unusual musical intervals or unusual chords.

 

Secondly his timing is rather rushed and he tends to trip up over his own fingers and miss his targets.

 

Thirdly, his tone is not to my taste - it's hollow with a clangy edge and is full of scrappy missed notes and inconsistant slapping.

 

And last of all, sorry, but I don't buy into all this 'virtuoso' stuff. YES to his electronica and a combination of his bass playing, NO to the solo bass stuff.

 

 

You can download ALL my albums for FREE at my website http://www.spoombung.co.uk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, the chords and harmonies he uses for his bass playing are quite conventional (in total contrast to his electronica) and he seems very obviously influenced by classical guitar convention. I don't hear much in terms of unusual musical intervals or unusual chords.

Does a musician need to use unconventional chords, harmonies and intervals to be considered a virtuoso? Are classical guitar players not good because the music they play is too conventional?

 

Secondly his timing is rather rushed and he tends to trip up over his own fingers and miss his targets.

I've played with a thousand drummers like that and nobody else seemed to mind. ;) But seriously, have you ever listened to old blues guitarists? They speed up and slow down when they feel like it and you can't say it detracts from the groove. If you're not trying to make people dance, you're not playing with other musicians that have to keep up and you're playing original music where people can't say "hey, that isn't how it goes!," does it matter if you speed up or slow down? Baroque musicians did this constantly...and in ensembles! Why limit your expression?

 

Thirdly, his tone is not to my taste - it's hollow with a clangy edge and is full of scrappy missed notes and inconsistant slapping.

This is purely a taste thing. I don't think it would sound good if he played that through an SVT rig.

 

And last of all, sorry, but I don't buy into all this 'virtuoso' stuff. YES to his electronica and a combination of his bass playing, NO to the solo bass stuff.

From dictionary.com:

Virtuoso - n. a person who excels in musical technique or execution.

I'd say he fits the bill even if you don't like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Does a musician need to use unconventional chords, harmonies and intervals to be considered a virtuoso? Are classical guitar players not good because the music they play is too conventional?

 

No, of course not. But it's quite a contrast with his unconventional electronica. Just pointing out the contradiction. Okay, perhaps I was expecting more musical surprises from his bass playing. All I hear is fairly conventional classical guitar- influenced playing combined with lots of clanky slapping.

 

I've played with a thousand drummers like that and nobody else seemed to mind. ;) But seriously, have you ever listened to old blues guitarists? They speed up and slow down when they feel like it and you can't say it detracts from the groove. If you're not trying to make people dance, you're not playing with other musicians that have to keep up and you're playing original music where people can't say "hey, that isn't how it goes!," does it matter if you speed up or slow down? Baroque musicians did this constantly...and in ensembles! Why limit your expression?

 

I understand the point you're making. But I think he's trying to cram too much in and sacrifices clarity and tempo in the process. I don't find his tempo changes very musical. A lot of slap players do this when they try and play too fast.

 

Thirdly, his tone is not to my taste - it's hollow with a clangy edge and is full of scrappy missed notes and inconsistant slapping.

This is purely a taste thing. I don't think it would sound good if he played that through an SVT rig.

 

Yes, I agree - and I did say it's about my taste.

 

And last of all, sorry, but I don't buy into all this 'virtuoso' stuff. YES to his electronica and a combination of his bass playing, NO to the solo bass stuff.

From dictionary.com:

Virtuoso - n. a person who excels in musical technique or execution.

I'd say he fits the bill even if you don't like it.

 

Well you're right -I really don't like it very much at all - I'm afraid I find it quite dull. I think it's good to offer criticism every now again (I'm aware this rarely goes down well on forums) especially when people are lauding him as the bees knees. As I said, I like bits of his regurgitated electronica and think he's an interesting musician. He's probably a good bass player too.

You can download ALL my albums for FREE at my website http://www.spoombung.co.uk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, of course not. But it's quite a contrast with his unconventional electronica. Just pointing out the contradiction. Okay, perhaps I was expecting more musical surprises from his bass playing. All I hear is fairly conventional classical guitar- influenced playing combined with lots of clanky slapping.

I hear you. However, electronica has quite a bit more at its disposal for creating unique voices and undefinable chords than a fretted 6-string bass.

 

Well you're right -I really don't like it very much at all - I'm afraid I find it quite dull. I think it's good to offer criticism every now again (I'm aware this rarely goes down well on forums) especially when people are lauding him as the bees knees. As I said, I like bits of his regurgitated electronica and think he's an interesting musician. He's probably a good bass player too.

I wouldn't call him the bees knees of anything. That gets too far into celebrity worship for my taste. I think he makes interesting electronic music that I enjoy and he uses an approach to the bass guitar that few name artists do even if it's basically adapted classical guitar method. Without refering to YouTube, how many bass players can you name that do that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...