Spooky puts out another fine CD of first rate dub experiments. His strength, as usual, is that he draws from many sources: Jazz, soul, ambient, dub, electronica, and even tech house. The result here is a sort of dark nuanced sound collage. Not every track is a gem, but he has some very bold and innovative combinations of styles. The album on the whole is very dark and downtempo. Play on a late night or ambient type show if possible.
Recommended Cuts: 5,6,7,*11 FCC: 4
1) 31 second intro of guy talking. Nothing too exciting; sets the mood. 2) Nice mellow dub cut. Accoustic jazz drumming layered with drum machines. Echo-ed out vox fade in and out over sea of ambient electronic noise and a cute little synth line ties it together. Chimes and bells are also in the distance. 3) Funky dub rhythms with tight little scratching and more echoy distant vox. Organs hit replace scratching and then are replaced by all forms of sampled ambient noise. 4) Spoken word about jazz with jazz drums and walking bass. FCC Violation: a “fuck” and 3 “shit”s. 5) Echoy howling saxophones over simple driving beat played on acoustic drums with little bits of mellow keys. Very ambient effect; mesmorizing 6) Ambient xylophone intro. Then hip-hop beat breaks with muted trumpets and looped vocal sample. Lots of sampled jazz horns as the track goes on. A really open space-y sound. Great cut. 7) Remix of Saul Williams poem. Deep earthy violins over fast snare beat create a very power backing to the fierce poem. 8) Another dub adventure with muted strings over echo-y drum pads and a couple of electronic melodies. 9) 2001-ish haunting “space” sounds with a swinging drum beat.
10) Bits of the spoken word on track 4 now with a more uptempo feel. Hard piano hooks looped with almost tech house styled backing. Somewhat harsh product, the jazz hooks don’t blend especially well with the techy aspects. 11) The album’s magnum opus; a stunning 9 minute ambient cut. Very open spacey horn sounds with just a high-hat and bass drum droning away and lots of baby scratches of indecipherable vocal samples. Has all those subtle little rhythm changes and other nuances that make or break ambient. Play this track!
An hour and 20 minute 35-track continuous mix of dub, spoken word, hiphop, and other styles, all ambient and dark. Most cuts are around 1-2 minutes and the overall CD is pretty homogeneous, so start anywhere and let it play.
FCC Violation: 2
Mike, i.e. The Professor