Modern Mantra

DJ Spooky

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Modern Mantra Review

by John Bush

DJ Spooky's mix-album trawl through the deep, varied back catalog of Shadow Records is a great mix of laid-back breaks and hip-hop, populated by long-buried tracks from several scenes all over the world. (Granted, Shadow is as much a domestic distributor as it is a record label.) Spooky's mixing is excellent; with deft transitions and great scratching (plus just a bit of post-production), he injects energy into blunted hip-hop from Sharpshooters and DJ Cam, then ups the tempo with a great mini-set of drum'n'bass with highlights from Jack Dangers (the Meat Beat Manifesto main man) and Cujo (aka Amon Tobin). Modern Mantra finally touches down with jazzy, experimental selections from Goo ("The OG") and Spaceways ("Requiem for Ra") and ends by stretching back to early-'90s ambient with Prototype 909 and a closer from Moby's Ambient album of 1993. DJ Spooky compensates for the lack of vocals by dropping a pair of ace Aesop Rock tracks (the album's only outside licensing) and makes a smooth transition from post-millennium sound sculptor Russell Mills to the genesis of Shadow in the early-'90s ambient techno scene.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
DJ Spooky feat: Sussan Deyhim / Russell Mills 01:09 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Sharpshooters 01:20 SpotifyAmazon
3 DJ Spooky feat: DJ Krush 02:01 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky 01:45 SpotifyAmazon
5 DJ Spooky feat: Sharpshooters 04:06 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Fugitive Elf / Sneakster 02:08 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Saru 02:11 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: DJ Cam 02:33 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Blend 00:52 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Aesop Rock 02:09 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Aesop Rock 01:14 SpotifyAmazon
12 DJ Spooky feat: Jack Dangers 04:03 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Hanna / Toshinori Kondo / DJ Krush 02:44 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Cujo 05:26 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Quentin's Ladder 03:49 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Illform / Omicron 02:55 SpotifyAmazon
17 DJ Spooky feat: Nostramus 01:16 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky feat: Quentin's Ladder 02:48 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky 03:53 SpotifyAmazon
20 DJ Spooky feat: Droid 03:49 SpotifyAmazon
21 DJ Spooky feat: Spaceways 02:28 SpotifyAmazon
DJ Spooky 02:56 SpotifyAmazon
23 DJ Spooky feat: Michael Brook / Bill Laswell / Russell Mills 05:08 SpotifyAmazon
24 DJ Spooky feat: Prototype 909 03:12 SpotifyAmazon
25 DJ Spooky feat: Terre Thaemlitz 03:30 SpotifyAmazon
26 DJ Spooky feat: Moby 04:39 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick