255: “Variation Cybernetique: Rhythmic Pataphysic Part 1” by DJ Spooky
February 1, 2012 Leave a comment
If you think drum loops and hip-hop bravado when you see the abbreviation “DJ” in the beginning of a musician’s name, then you might want to rattle your head around, and try to knock loose a few preconceptions.
One of my first encounters with DJ Spooky was his 2002 album, Optometry. On it, Spooky collaborated with a handful of avant-garde jazz musicians (Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Guillermo E. Brown and Joe McPhee). When I originally listened to the album, I was expecting some jazz-infused beat pageant, like DJ Logic was doing at the time. I was way off in my expectations. So when I first listened to it, I hated it. Shelved it. I hadn’t figured out the method it would take to successfully approach the music inside Optometry.
Some music you must approach in the same way you would approach a cat. The timing has to be right, or no good can come of it.
After some rattling in my head, my eyesight changed (or maybe I just knew a little better what I was looking at…), and Optometry made it into rotation.
The samples in the track I’ve selected are recordings of mostly classical instruments, and their assembled form is nothing short of magnificent. It’s a sublime and stark beauty, like a towering cloud or the color-coded map of a viral outbreak. Beauty, stark or otherwise, is everywhere, if your eyes are healthy and focused.
Enjoy DJ Spooky’s “Variation Cybernetique: Rhythmic Pataphysic Part 1” the title of which explains the song much better than I ever could.