Run-D.M.C. have said that they would be nothing if it weren’t for their DJ, Jam Master Jay. Additionally, they claimed that a DJ could be his own band. Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid) proved this to be true more certainly than anybody else. Even though he occasionally does collaborative work with other artists and brings in musicians to contribute to his own works, he is still capable of creating a fulfilling composition by himself. This is true of most DJ’s, but DJ Spooky was one of the early pioneers of turntablism and one of the most influential artists of the genre.
The songs I have provided for downloading should show you how unique DJ Spooky’s sound is. “Post-Human Sophistry,” off of Riddim Warfare, is a particularly interesting track because it starts off with a slow, groovy beat then goes into a hauntingly catch drum’n’bass tune that has an almost otherworldly feel to it. It reminds me of a rather self-promotional yet somewhat philosophical track called “A Conversation,” which also comes from Riddim Warfare. In this aptly named track, DJ Ambassador Jr. shows off his DJ techniques by playing around with a looped sample. DJ Spooky does the same and produces something a lot more original and interesting. His approach also sounds much more complete; it sounds like it could stand alone as its own song as opposed to being background music for somebody else. It goes to show that his style is something completely different from the traditional techniques used by hip hop DJ’s. Just listen to “Object Unknown,” a collaborative effort between DJ Spooky and Kool Keith. It’s very atypical rap.
Buy DJ Spooky’s Riddim Warfare
DJ Spooky feat. Kool Keith – Object Unknown DJ Spooky – Post-Human Sophistry
DJ Spooky vs. the Freight Elevator Quartet
The Freight Elevator Quartet
DJ Spooky also produced a collaborative album with the Freight Elevator Quartet called File Under Futurism. Futurism was an artistic movement in the early 20th Century that celebrated technology and man’s triumph over nature. The futurists loved everything that resulted from the technological developments: the noise, the pollution, the speed, and everything else. Keeping this in mind, the concept behind File Under Futurism is, as stated by the Freight Elevator Quartet on their website, “a commentary on cultural and aesthetic oppositions, through a musical exposition and juxtaposition of early twentieth century Futurism (imagining a sublime technology) and the exponentially accelerated culture in which we live today (coping with too much technology).” DJ Spooky and the Freight Elevator Quartet also sought to break new ground and create their own unique sound in the world of electronic music through their collaborative efforts.
Now take into consideration the philosophy of the futurists and the album’s concept when listening to the first track, “File Under Futurism (Groove Protocol Mix).” It’s a fast, aggressive song with the occasional sound of electricity flowing across the breakbeat rhythm. It also has a very mechanical ambience that is only counteracted by the echoing saxophone. However, it might be more accurate to say that the saxophone is overrun by the agressive electronic beats. Which sound is opposing the other in this song? Hmm, it would seem that the philosophical stylings of DJ Spooky have gotten to me.
Buy DJ Spooky vs. the Freight Elevator Quartet’s File Under Futurism
DJ Spooky vs. the Freight Elevator Quartet – File Under Futurism (Groove Protocol Mix)