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Synthetic Fury

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Album Review

This EP, which is actually nearly 30 minutes long, shows why DJ Spooky was the first turntablist signed to a major label. The opening track, "You Are About to Witness," sets syncopated scratching against a Bomb Squad-like backdrop of wailing sirens, screeching Psycho samples, and a classic NWA line before morphing into "Dumb Mutha Fucka," a furiously funky descent into hell that matches thunderous drums and sheets of psychedelic samples against a maddeningly infectious string melody. On "Sum Ill S**t (Clinton Street Dub)," Spooky deconstructs his whacked-out sound even further, tweaking a bassline straight outta the Jack Bruce songbook and taking it into the deepest, darkest recesses of psychedelic dub. But the EP's high point is the supremely bizarre title track, a seven-minute epic of insane samples, distorted voices, and schizophrenic style changes that will leave "normal" listeners dizzy, disoriented, and completely discombobulated. In a subgenre where originality and creativity are held in the highest esteem, DJ Spooky proves himself to be truly one of a kind.


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 equally by John Cage and Sun...
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Synthetic Fury, DJ Spooky
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