Does anyone have a blacklight and a Zoloft?

Riddim Clash

DJ Spooky does not hit you with played out retro hooks and Candy Land Club Space-esque trance. As the originator of his own trip hop genre called illbient, Spooky has transcended the boring, overexposed notion of the DJ, chikka chikka et cetera, to reside on a man-less plain where Sprite is nonexistent.

Dust off that PSY 110 book that you could never sell back because this subliminal kid comes strong from all angles, blowing your mind so methodically that Riddim Clash will leave you feeling like carved and scooped out like a jack-o-lantern sans preparation.

Or how about this simile? It creeps into your subconscious like a mutant worm on a mission to eat away the remaining vestiges of hope and sanity that keep you this side of the edge. The kid doesn’t tunnel his way in through your navel though.

No, instead he shocks you into submission with the unilateral chant “We are not afraid” delivered by what I can only envision as a group of maybe a hundred neo-Nazis congregated in an abandoned subway tunnel and armed to the teeth.

Thanks to some lo-fi skeletal bass and more excellent remixing by Twilight Circus’ Ryan Moore of Canada, the tracks feed on undeniable anxiousness with their dungeon-Goth vibe and horror flick resonance. As his namesake implies, Spooky is an out-there dude, but working in Moore’s house of echoes and frequencies is utterly bugged out point-of-no-return.

Adding to fluidity and concept, each of the ten tracks trickle into the ears innocently enough but then fail to deliver that subconsciously sought change in tempo to provide deliverance from the spreading negativity his beats induce.

The eerily monotonous rhythms breed depression and seem to trap you like an incredibly bad trip. Spooky. DJ Spooky makes you want to escape but at the same time convinces you that there is no escape. By the way, all of this is done with instrumental dub and scarce lyrics.

This is not a CD; it’s more of an experience on the dark side. You feel alive all while he convinces you that life just isn’t worth living. Surgeon’s General Warning: do not mix with hallucinogens, bouts of massive depression and/or sharp objects and small children.

November 4, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.