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Modern Mantra

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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.


Born: 06 September 1970 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

DJ Spooky (That Subliminal Kid) emerged as one of the most noted proponents of turntablism, an approach to hip-hop and DJ'ing whose philosophy merges avant-garde theories of musique concrète with the increased devotion paid to mixing techniques beginning at the turn of the millennium. Influenced equally by John Cage and Sun Ra as well as Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, few artists have done more to mainstream the DJ-as-artist concept than him. Spooky was born Paul Miller in Washington, D.C. His...
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Modern Mantra, DJ Spooky
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