Squarepusher is a pseudonym of Chelmsford, Essex, England, electronic musician Tom Jenkinson (b. 1975), best known for his experimental drum and bass, with a heavy jazz fusion influence. A skilled bassist and multi-instrumentalist, Jenkinson's virtuoso playing is a staple of his music and one of the more obvious affiliations with jazz (although his formal arrangements are often as jazz-derived as his playing). His bass style includes melodic fretless playing, high-speed slap bass and intricate chordal work. The project débuted with Conumber E:P (1995, Spymania) and the latest is Ufabulum (May 2012, Warp).
The son of a jazz drummer, Jenkinson grew up listening to greats such as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Art Blakey, plus dub pioneers King Tubby and Augustus Pablo. He played bass and drums in high school but was frustrated by the limitations of playing with other musicians. Introduced to electronic music through experimental electro-techno artists such as LFO and Carl Craig as well as the local rave scene, Jenkinson soon began assembling these disparate influences into an amalgam of post-bop, avant-garde and progressive jazz with breakbeat techno, making heavy use of the Amen break.
Conumber E:P and another early EP, as Duke Of Haringey, Alroy Road Tracks (1995, Spymania), were initially disregarded as misplaced perversions of jungle's more obvious compositional principles. However, they found a ready audience in fans of post-acid house experimental listening music. Tracks from these EPs were later compiled onto the album Burningn'n tree.
His first album, Feed Me Weird Things (1996, Rephlex - Richard D. James' label) and from there he progressed to Warp Records for the Port Rhombus EP, classic second album Hard Normal Daddy (1997) and all subsequent releases to date - except, as Chaos A.D., an album of old acid techno tracks, Buzz Caner (1998, Rephlex).
For Music Is Rotted One Note (1998), he stopped using sampled drum breaks and instead multi-tracked himself playing drums, bass, and keyboards. The following year, he released two EPs: Budakhan Mindphone and Maximum Priest, plus album Selection Sixteen.
Go Plastic (summer 2001), marked a change of direction with entirely sampled and synthesized sounds. It includes the closest thing to a hit single Squarepusher had seen, "My Red Hot Car". His subsequent releases, e.g. Do You Know Squarepusher (2003) and Ultravisitor (2004), found him refining his fusion of composition, programming and musicianship.
More recently, Just A Souvenir (2008), with a more rock-influenced sound, was followed by Solo Electric Bass (2009), consisting of live recordings of Jenkinson on the titular instrument.