Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Church Street, Friday, May 8

I guess I’m foolhardy – I’m mostly into provocative musical situations – seeing what happens when you create havoc or disruption in the system.”

Tom Jenkinson, aka Squarepusher, freely admits he is the antithesis of corporation-driven modern music.

Throughout his 20-year career he has explored a wide musical canvas, from breakbeat-influenced electronica, to drum and bass to abstract jazz.

“For this project the set-up I used to write the music had to be portable,” he says of his latest album Damogen Furies and its accompanying tour.

“I had to be able to take the set-up from studio to the stage without making any adaptations or cutting any corners.”

The latest album was recorded live in the studio using software and hardware he had specifically designed to avoid the limitations of “off the shelf” technology and keep away from the tech-company driven commercial aspect creeping into the electronic music scene.

The result is a shape-shifting electronic album with a human heart beating at the centre – opening with the anthemic Stor Eiglass.

He is interested in the sonic possibilities one instrument can create.

“I’m fascinated by the fact a voice can start off saying one thing and by the end can say something in a very different manner,” he says.

“A melodic line at the start of a piece of music can become the instrument which creates the drums and rhythm component of the music by the end. It’s a system of morphing voices which is quite a critical part of how I design things.”

The album cover is a manipulated photograph of Jenkinson, which he says reflects how he feels disfigured by the industry.

“People are concerned with making publicity about your work,” he says. “They create a tag-line oriented description, which is against the grain of what I’m trying to do.

“I’m trying to do battle with these processes. The industry encourages you to keep a very consistent brand identity, as in the short term it shifts product – but it destroys your creativity in the long term.

“It’s out of keeping with the particular characteristics of human beings. I’m engaging with different musical ideas as time goes by. When people listen to music their tastes change, they will channel hop between different things.”

Possibly Jenkinson’s biggest stylistic change to date was his third album, 1998’s Music Is One Rotted Note, which saw him ditch the samplers and sequencers and draw on jazz and electroacoustic music influences.

“At the time lots of people pointed to it saying: ‘What’s this jazz stuff?’, that it was self-indulgent, virtuosic crap,” says Jenkinson who much to his own amazement has been invited to play the Cheltenham Jazz Festival for the first time this year.

“These days it’s safe to say it is recognised for its merits. You have got to hang on in there. People are so accustomed to thinking an artist’s next thing should be like their last.”

As well as distancing himself from the industry and tastemakers Jenkinson is also keen to keep a strong DIY aesthetic, right down to the equipment he uses.

“Technological companies are getting to the point where they affect what we do across the board,” says Jenkinson. “Internet communication is being monitored like a spying agency as much as producing benefits for us.

“I have a more old-fashioned and DIY aesthetic – I don’t want a relationship with a technology company.”

His previous project to Damogen Furies did see him playing with some real cutting edge tech though.

The EP Music For Robots saw Jenkinson team up with Japanese roboticists to create five tracks of music played by three Z-Machine robots using familiar instrumentation.

“I was using instruments we are all familiar with, which are ubiquitous in modern music,” says Jenkinson.

“There are a number of stereotypes associated with how these instruments are used – especially with an electric guitar. There are really well-established techniques, and this idea you have to spend years dedicated to learning your craft. I liked saying ‘Here’s a robot, with no dedication, it’s just a machine’. I was engineering that commitment and feeling. It asked how important the music was they were actually playing when you can’t evaluate a performance.”

He sees his role in the musical world – especially in the “safe” electronic music world – as akin to a punk in the 1970s.

“Music is a way of keeping people awake and engaged,” he says.

“Someone like David Guetta’s music feels like a complete aberration. It’s the spectacle of greed and egocentricity – not so far from the excesses of prog rock in the 1970s.

“There needs to be a statement saying ‘f*** you’ to that world. I don’t know if I’m making it, but that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Support from Sherwood and Pinch.

  • Starts 8pm, tickets from £15. Call 01273 709709.