July 1, 2002
Aphex Twin/Squarepusher : Glastonbury The Glade
Shock Glasto sets from the dance heavyweights...
Peace and love and psychedelic trance might be de riguer at Glastonbury, but there are limits. Secluded dance spot The Glade's first superstar secret guest, Richard D James, aka Aphex Twin, cocks a snoot at the festival's prevailing mellow flavours and unleashes an hour of brutal brain floss before 1,000 startled hippies.
His first Glasto appearance since, what, 1997, encompasses amped-up darkcore rave, classic drum'n'bass and plenty of mutilated gabba, much to the delight of those who believed the rumours and headed up to The Glade for a battering at sunset.
Wearing a green top and his hair tied back, Aphex's rough-handed assault should ideally have been much louder and longer. A final spin of vintage [/a]prepares the swelling audience for an excellent set by [a], whose dippy melodies and digital crunch ease many into a night of fairy-winged debauchery.
But the treats for ravers this weekend don't end there: first Aphex, then the following evening his good friend Tom Squarepusher
This is Jenkinson's first UK show since last year's steamy 100 Club gig in London, where he caned his superb 'Go Plastic' album. It's also the first time he's appeared in public since cancelling last August's high-profile US tour for personal reasons, and we're pleased to report that the 'Pusher man has grown his hair collar-length and throws himself into a set of mostly brand-new ultra-hectic acid-tweaked material, grinning maniacally as he crunches those numbers.
Cloaked in billowing dry ice, Jenkinson, who hypes the crowd with feral outbursts on the mic, is illuminated by a yellow bedside lamp. Cute. Again, the PA could have been louder, but it's foolish to argue with anyone who airs avant-rave nuggets culled from 'Big Loada' and 'Go Plastic'. People scream and punch the air, twatted by Squarepusher
With a new double live and unreleased album out in September, let's hope this keynote Glasto set marks the active return of one of modern music's major talents.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday
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