Paul D. Miller

Viral Sonata

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Paul D. Miller, a.k.a DJ Spooky, calls this a 'hip-hop' record, though there's little hip and no hop. His tongue is firmly planted cheekwise, but there's no denying Miller's high concept album. VIRAL SONATA is the stuff of hi-jacked groove anarchy, the deification of the sampler and the turntable, where no sound is sacred and everything is permitted.

Here, the specter of William Burroughs (one million edited/collaged parts of him) haunts this montage of concrete samples and corrupted audio files. There are gnarled bits of droning Indian sitar on "Indra's Net," and odes to electronic film score pioneers Louis and Bebe Barron in the lab-rat electronic piston pulses of "Morphic Interlude." In the electroacoustic "City on the Edge of Forever," the disembodied, trilling sound patterns would surely make sci-fi scenarist Harlan Ellison proud. Subtitled "An Inventory of Effects," VIRAL SONATA, for all its random experimentalism, brings up-to-date the pioneering work of every Bell Labs techie who ever worked with a prehistoric, multi-cabled, synthesized monstrosity.

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