Music Reviews

DJ Spooky vs. the Freight Elevator Quartet

File Under Futurism


Futurism? I wouldn’t file this under futurism, I’d say this is more illbient, but then again that term is used too often without just cause. What is it then? It’s another collaboration by That Subliminal Kid, and an excellent one at that.

File Under Futurism explores a more structured side of Spooky than his other work. This is not the quasi hip-hop of Riddim Warfare , nor the dense illbient soup of Songs of a Dead Dreamer . The Freight Elevator Quartet have helped the venerable DJ give more cohesion to his tracks. The end result is a much tighter sound. “The Revolution Will be Streamed” and “File Under Futurism (Grooveprotocol Mix) sound manic and disjointed on surface, but at the heart of both tracks is an underlying rhythmic flow that is held by the strings (yes, real strings!).

Some of this hearkens back to his Syntheitc Fury album in terms of sheer heaviness. The Freight Elevator Quartet are no Panacea, but they still pack quite a punch. The drums near Squarepusher levels of insanity. “Experimental Asynchronicity” is nearly-out of control with it drums that follow no set rhythm and fly in out of nowhere at 200 bpms.

Two tracks on this CD are live cuts, and are far less hectic than their studio counterparts. “This is What Happens” is slow and loopy, while “Variations on a Freight Theme” is melodic and driving.

File Under Futurism is another successful record by Spooky and counterparts, no doubt due to the input of the Freight Elevator Quartet. They have helped push Spooky’s sound to new levels of experimentalism.

Caipirinha Productions, 1120 5th Ave. #15A, New York, NY 10128;

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