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Modern Mantra

DJ Spooky

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Album Review

DJ Spooky's mix-album trawl through the deep, varied back catalog of Shadow Records is a great mix of laid-back breaks and hip-hop, populated by long-buried tracks from several scenes all over the world. (Granted, Shadow is as much a domestic distributor as it is a record label.) Spooky's mixing is excellent; with deft transitions and great scratching (plus just a bit of post-production), he injects energy into blunted hip-hop from Sharpshooters and DJ Cam, then ups the tempo with a great mini-set of drum'n'bass with highlights from Jack Dangers (the Meat Beat Manifesto main man) and Cujo (aka Amon Tobin). Modern Mantra finally touches down with jazzy, experimental selections from Goo ("The OG") and Spaceways ("Requiem for Ra") and ends by stretching back to early-'90s ambient with Prototype 909 and a closer from Moby's Ambient album of 1993. DJ Spooky compensates for the lack of vocals by dropping a pair of ace Aesop Rock tracks (the album's only outside licensing) and makes a smooth transition from post-millennium sound sculptor Russell Mills to the genesis of Shadow in the early-'90s ambient techno scene.

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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Modern Mantra, DJ Spooky
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