By: Eric G.
DJ Spooky makes his major label debut with a synthesis of jungle, hip-hop, jazz, and experimental noise. Spooky integrates these elements with a few guest vocalists, rapid samples, and severe scratching. The over-stated tone is despairing but not without explanation. Spooky spells his aims out in bits of spoken word: “a lot of DJ’s just speak with their hands, you know, it’s time to, like, expand." While most of the album is comprised of Spooky’s much heralded disc-jockeying technique, the hip-hop tracks seem to have the greatest impact. Guests like Kool Keith, Killah Priest, and members of Organized Konfusion dominate the mic with tales of suburban warfare. Spooky also incorporates elements of New York's avant-guard scene with Arto Lindsey, Thurston Moore, and Ben Neill all lending their respective talents.
Riddim Warfare is like a disjointed dream sequence that is both terrifying and tranquil. It's a kaleidoscopic soundscape in which Spooky represents a look at the future as he sees it, stressing the need to reconstruct. Spooky patches the erratic rhythms and fractured beats into a trance-like groove best experienced with headphones. His transitions are seamless linking the most unlikely samples together. The scratching is unconventional- not as showy as most DJ's but more experimental. With this album Spooky is still trying to marry all of his literary theories to his musical patchwork. The point is self-evident in the music; however, Spooky still feels the need to explain himself. Regardless of the means his vision is clear.