The Parish

April 22, 2004

Wow. English D.J. Squarepusher's sold-out show at The House of Blues Parish Room was mind-blowing Thursday night. With intense layered beats, rows of strobe lights, and eardrum aching amplification, the concert was an assault on my senses. I had to take a break, and eventually I gave up and went home early because the experience was more than I could handle. Too much euphoria.

As evidenced by "Tommib," the soothing and romantic instrumental on the Lost in Translation soundtrack, Squarepusher can take it down a notch with quality. There was none of that this night. The set was full of fiery music that made me want to jump out of my skin. So many beats were layered upon one another that I didn't know where one began and one ended. That's where the feeling of euphoria came in—my body's surrender to the beautiful music.

Squarepusher(real name: Tom Jenkinson) played bass, manipulated his console to throw out programmed sounds, or did both. Other people call his music Drill n' bass or Experimental Jungle. To me, Squarepusher didn't use a rule book. He had an acid-jazz sound with strange breakbeats. In addition, he used spacey sounds and hook-filled cymbal crashes. His music was eccentric and playful. He started off a song with a classical guitar solo and ended it with white noise.

The place was packed. After I saw Dr. Jimbo Walsh, conductor of The Naked Orchestra, in the crowd, I felt like I was in the right place. I wasn't well-acquainted with Squarepusher's work before the concert. Now, I'm a huge fan. Maybe I should ask Dr. Walsh for a list of his favorite bands.

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