Tom "Squarepusher" Jenkinson can be broadly described as an electronic musician, though he is perhaps best known for his experimental drum'n'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 Jaco Pastorius-esque melodic fretless playing, high-speed slap bass and intricate chordal work.
Born in 1975 (Essex, England), 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.
His initial releases were the Conumber EP (1995) and (as Duke Of Haringey) the Alroy Road Tracks EP (1996) on Spymania. They were initially disregarded as misplaced perversions of jungle's more obvious compositional principles, but 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.