Christian Marclay

djTrio

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As close as Christian Marclay has ever come to conventional DJ mixing -- which is to say, not very close at all -- djTrio collects seven live performances by Marclay's ever-shifting collective of turntable masters, including Toshio Kajiwara, Erik M, DJ Olive, and Marina Rosenfeld. This is not traditional turntablism in that the beat is never the point. Similarly, the traditional structure of soundclash-style records, where each DJ takes turns soloing while the others provide a steady beat backdrop, is out the window: this is more like three DJs soloing on top of each other. However, it's not as chaotic and difficult to absorb as many of Marclay's solo performances, because although Marclay's extreme noise-for-noise-sake aesthetic prevails, his cohorts are at least partially rooted in traditional turntablism, which provides just enough familiarity for the listener to throw Marclay's sound art into sharp relief. Relatively becalmed pieces like "New York, August 21, 2003" aren't really that far removed from the likes of DJ Shadow, making djTrio a less threatening introduction to Christian Marclay's musical world than many of his solo recordings.

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