Electronic musicians can be terrible live acts: What’s the point of seeing someone stand on stage behind a laptop, hitting a return key? No wonder then that artists such as Daft Punk and Justice amp up their shows with elaborate visual displays. Tom Jenkinson, aka Squarepusher, is another such performer, and unlike the rest, he does the music and the visuals himself.
After a brief teaser clip touting the British e-maestro’s new album, Ufabulum, recently made the rounds, a feature video for the track Dark Steering has just been released. In it, an expansive LED-studded screen provides non-stop theatrics like some kind of black-and-white Lite-Brite acid trip, while Jenkinson sports a futuristic helmet that blinks along in time. And he writes:
For a while I had apocalyptic nightmares about trails of nuclear missiles in the night sky. So I aimed to recreate that strange combination of exhilaration, terror and sadness both visually and emotionally through this piece. It lead to the idea of a spacecraft leaving earth at vast speed to escape, but oddly the music also made me think of it flying through a library. So I generated the visual aspect such that, as the piece progresses, it seems as if the viewer is ever accelerating through massive corridors of books.