DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid has worked with and reworked artists as dissimilar as Arto Lindsay, Sublime and William Parker. He writes columns, books, copious liner notes and songs with enigmatic titles. He is also a visual artist credited with being one of the leaders of the "illbient" music genre -- those who consider deejaying a search for information. It's a mouthful, and Spooky's an earful. On his latest, Celestial Mechanix: The Blue Series MasterMix, he has mined sonic gems from Thirsty Ear's jazz imprint, Blue Series. The double-disc release includes remixes that feature forward-thinking MCs such as Carl Hancock Rux, Antipop Consortium and Saul Williams. The disc's static tempo is offset by Spooky's tenets of tweaking. He makes piano sound like Spanish guitar; hefty beats merely bubble under an overbearing bell toll, and horns morph into frogs. At times the conflicting sound layers simply distract ("Maldoror's Gambit Remix"), and sometimes they swathe acoustics tight enough to make a noose ("Lingua Ex Machina remix"). Williams's beat-inspired activist piece, "Not In Our Name," appropriates the most attention, however. Highlighted by violins and turntablism, his powerfully lyrical anti-war tirade spins a dreadfully ironic sample of President Bush saying "Some might call this a good record; I call this a good start." Spooky, indeed.
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