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Dubtometry

DJ Spooky

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Album Review

It's the obvious next step for DJ Spooky. Take the tracks he worked over on his groundbreaking Optometry album and give them to various remixers so they can create their own vision of his sound — a refraction of it, if you will. For the most part, the overworked "dub" tag doesn't really apply, even when he brings in a couple of dub masters like Lee "Scratch" Perry and Mad Professor. But it's a hook to hang it all on. And certainly some of the people here have clear ideas. Karsh Kale, for example, makes a percussive vehicle of "Variation Cybernetique," with tablas unsurprisingly to the fore. It's interesting to compare with Twilight Circus' take on the same piece, which heads toward dreamier realms altogether. Blend offers an almost gamelan sensibility to "Kollage," with plenty of delay creating something quite otherworldly. Negativland's trademark cut-up sensibility comes to "Asphalt," hitting high on the disorientation factor. If you're expecting dub in the Jamaican way — a remix that's aimed at both feet and head, you won't find it here; this is strictly cerebral. But it's a very successful brain warp that often pushes all the way to the edge (stand up DJ Goo). It makes you wonder if remixes of the remixes might come next, like ripples moving out across a pool. It'd certainly be an interesting idea. In the meantime, be happy with this, a fabulous idea made flesh.

Biography

Born: 06 September 1970 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

DJ Spooky (That Subliminal Kid) is the most noted (and notorious) proponent of turntablism, an approach to hip-hop and DJing whose philosophy merges avant-garde theories of musique concrète with the increased devotion paid to mixing techniques during the 1990s. Though he's overly intellectual at times (to the detriment of his recordings, interviews, and mixing dates), Spooky was a critical figure in spotlighting the DJ as a post-modern poet in his own right. Influenced...
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Dubtometry, DJ Spooky
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