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Rhythm Science

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Album Review

The Belgian label Sub Rosa invited DJ Spooky "That Subliminal Kid" to remix its whole catalog. Yes, it has been done before, but there are two main factors of interest in this particular project. First of all, DJ Spooky is an unusual DJ, to say the least: he's highly imaginative and willing to push boundaries without going to the extent of disfiguring his source materials. Second of all, Sub Rosa's catalog encompasses a smorgasbord of audio art. And DJ Spooky has tapped into the richness of Sub Rosa's "audio archive" (dixit the album's subtitle) to produce a hard-hitting, 79-minute mix. The mix rarely stays in place, constantly moving from one spot to another. Spooky generally builds the music over three layers. First is a groove derived from ethnic percussion (Trilok Gurtu and Bill Laswell, among others) or beat-driven electro or DJ'ing (DJ Wally, DJ Grazzhoppa, Yoshihiro Hanno, David Shea, etc.). The second layer is provided by experimental electro or sound artists (Scanner, Oval, Merzbow, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, etc.). The third layer sees the highly-schooled DJ Spooky dive into Sub Rosa's generous series of aural documents of modern geniuses. And so the voices of James Joyce, William S. Burroughs, ee cummings, Brion Gysin, Antonin Artaud, Tristan Tzara, and other Gilles Deleuze's pop up everywhere, creating a meta-discourse, offering anachronical comments on the music while they themselves become part of the music. "Welcome to Rhythm Science. It's an exercise in pan-humanism," states Spooky in his lengthy liner notes. This pan-humanism plays on the blurred boundaries between high art and low art: the philosophical and literary aspects of the spoken words, the sonic research of experimentalists, and the groove, constantly and seductively present throughout the album. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

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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Rhythm Science, DJ Spooky
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