The stuttering beats and relentless noise-mongering of the glitchtronica scene seem to be enjoying a surge in popularity of late. Squarepusher, along with contemporaries the Aphex Twin and m-ziq, helped mould the sound of so-called "Intelligent Dance Music" that Four Tetet al now follow and his latest album Ultravisitor has been heralded as a musical coming of age. Venus No. 17, however, is still very much more of the same from button-pusher Tom Jenkinson.
This is a stormy cacophony made up of fire alarms, flurries of out-of-step drums, punishing bass and ringing telephones. The Acid Mix throws in mid-nineties heyhey jungle samples and brutal parping acidlines before the relative calm of Tundra 4 with its cold ethereal chords helps nurse the bruises momentarily. But even this evolves into an uneasy, distressing nightmare.
Squarepusher's concoction of ugly discord and percussive pandemonium doesn't seem to know where it's going and can't remember where it's been. But don't we all suffer from that feeling occasionally? This is the panic attack-inducing sound of an insane world stumbling blindly into its own self-imposed Armageddon. Interesting, but certainly not a feel-good soundtrack to a cosy night in and absolutely useless for dinner parties.