12 June 2004

DJ Spooky

DJ Spooky's CD Riddim Warfare is always difficult to listen to. Where DJ Qbert's Wave Twisters is humorous, dense, and wildly virtuosic, and DJ Shadow's Endtroducing... is stylish and generally groovy, Spooky's music is erratic. He has a lot to say, but his aesthetic efforts are too unfocused. He should be the Sonic Youth of the genre. Instead, his music veers too close to the "art school fuck you" that Kim Gordon strives to avoid.

His explanations of what he is trying to achieve are an interesting view into his motivations but also show an artist struggling with postmodern concepts. His compositions too often end up being little more than dry essays.

So it should be no surprise he has written a book (with the notable cachet of MIT Press and blurbs from several high falootin' thinkers) about the creation of art from the flow of patterns in sound and culture. Paul Miller (DJ Spooky) sees DJing and what he's done with media collage in general as the defining art of our day.

I was taking philosophy courses freshmen year, and we were talking about deconstruction and Emanuel Kant’s categorical imperative in relation to twentieth century philosophy, and I brought in a KRS-ONE tape. Myself, my professor and the entire class got into this big discussion, and they just didn’t get it.

His tone is a little obsessive and seems to disregard the history of art before Dadaist poetry. Still, the book might be worth consideration.

[ posted by sstrader on 12 June 2004 at 5:22:11 PM in Music ]