Recently I had the opportunity to see Squarepusher play in Paris of all places. I’d previously only seen him perform on one previous occasion sometime back in 2001 or 2002 at a Warp Records party at the Frying Pan in Chelsea Piers. That was shortly after the release of his album Go Plastic, which didn’t feature much (if any) of his trademark bass playing, so it followed that the stage show was just Squarepusher mysteriously twisting knobs behind stacks of equipment, while cheering and drinking from a bottle of vodka. Hey, even if there was no bass playing, it was still a treat to hear those tracks on an enormous sound system.
Squarepusher’s new album has a much more live sound to it so it was only natural that he’d use some traditional instruments in the live stage recreation. For the bulk of the show, Squarepusher shared the stage with an incrediblyl nimble drummer. I’m pretty sure its the same one as in this video here. The set focused on his new album, but he also played some unrecognized (unreleased?) tracks as well as some old favorites including Come On My Selector and Journey To Reedham(!). Seeing the two ripping through Squarepusher’s freaked out hyperactive songbook was a pretty jaw-dropping experience as you might imagine.
As you can see in the video above, there was also an intense light show component. The stage was adorned with three giant LED walls that displayed audio-driven visuals that Mr. Squarepusher programmed himself. You can see the same visuals at work in a music video he made for Planet Gear along with a detailed accounting of his process over here on his site. Its hard however to communicate the completely insane blinding brightness of these screens.