Music Is Rotted One Note

Music Is Rotted One Note

While many fans of Tom Jenkinson's drum and bass–oriented work decried Music Is Rotted One Note as an extreme and possibly even contrarian departure, the strands of jazz ideology that propel the album had always been deeply integrated in Squarepusher's compositions. With Music Is Rotted One Note Jenkinson finally admitted to himself the inherent limitations of techno percussion, instead embracing airy, circular rhythms. The overarching influence here is Miles Davis. While Jenkinson had previously shown an obsession with the antsy rhythms of Davis’ On the Corner, here he turns to the washes of Fender Rhodes keyboard that defined In a Silent Way. “Dust Switch,” “Don’t Go Plastic,” and “Theme from Vertical Hold” aren’t defined song structures; instead they feel like inquisitive rambles, in which the warmth and mysteriousness of the sound are crucial factors. A little abstraction suited Squarepusher’s style, but Music Is Rotted One Note also contains one of his simplest, prettiest pieces: “My Sound” is dry and mournful, with a beat that betrays a burgeoning interest in hip-hop production.

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