DJ Spooky

Riddim Warfare

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Though he has his fingers in just about every beat-oriented pot of the late '90s (from hip-hop to trip-hop to drum'n'bass to illbient to turntablism), DJ Spooky managed to control his various inspirations for Riddim Warfare, instead of falling prey to the musical-eclecticism-for-its-own-sake concept which often derails similar producers. On the album's half-dozen or so hip-hop tracks, the production is appropriately dense and paranoid for abstract-philosopher rappers like Kool Keith, Sir Menelik, Organized Konfusion, and Killah Priest of Wu-Tang Clan. Elsewhere, Spooky sandwiches the tech-step drum'n'bass stormer "Post-Human Sophistry" right next to a track recorded live in Brazil with Arto Lindsay (which resembles a fusion of hip-hop with early Weather Report). Only one man could conceive of an album including turntable battles, a workout for Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, and a spoken-word piece on the same album. Through it all, DJ Spooky makes it work in fine fashion.

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