Label: Warp Records
Released on: May 15th, 2012
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Pawl Schwartz
Wow. I feel like Squarepusher has really reached new heights with this one. He’s a longtime veteran of the IDM genre, and he’s put out a lot of albums of varying degrees of quality and style. Basically, he’s been background noise for a lot of years — a constant. His last album, however, was a boast. He showed off every bit of his skill with pop-style, vocoder-based songs, all seen, of course, through an impressive and bombastic IDM lens. It was an amazing and somehow danceable album, and a big middle finger to the rise of electronica and dubstep in the pop world currently. I was hoping that he would only continue showing off while catering to this same crowd, and that’s exactly what he’s done with this album.
Any dubstep-only or Daft Punk fan would flip his shit to Ufabulum. It will be like discovering prog rock compared to pop-electro. Or hip-hop after commercial rap. All pats on the back in the war for good music aside, this album fucking rules from end to shiny end. The bass will blow out the biggest subwoofers. Swoops and fat-assed fucking beats all over the place. You could pretend to DJ this whole album in any Chicago bar on the weekend, and sloppy Chicagoans would be dancing their well-dressed little asses off, not to mention they would be all over your nuts all night. Squarepusher has stepped in to say “Now, now kids, this is how you really do it,” while at the same time throwing down the gauntlet for a challenger to approach. Skrillex better find a fucking bunker or something. I’m sorry, but Squarepusher can throw down in any electronics arena. He’s just better at everything in every way. Run Skrillex, run and hide! People will laugh at your music and boo you after they hear this shit! One-up him or GTFO.
The vocoder does make an appearance again, but it played in much the same way Squarepusher used it before in Shoeblader One, as a very smooth-sounding instrument to further the always dense, packed songs he pulls out like taffy.
This may be the album that helps a lot of people finally understand electronic music. Likewise, a lot of nay-sayers may finally understand what’s going on in dubstep besides fart noises (I still don’t hear that). Behold, a bridge has been built! Electronic elitists will stop blindly bashing dubstep, and pop-electro kids will be able to cross and discover the plethora of quality offerings over at Warp Records. Accept this dueling glove to the face as the olive branch that it will act as. Oh, and shake your ass. That part is pretty important.