DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid The Secret Song

DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid The Secret Song

With a CV as extensive as illbient activist Spooky's, expectations are understandably high for his new CD of solo and collaborative tracks. There are numbers that do what Spooky does best: break out of the expected. Case in point, his take on "Dazed and Confused," which employs baroque-ish string lines and noir flourishes, leading to those iconic guitar riffs. "Azadi" features Iranian vocalist Sussan Deyhim multi-tracked and microtonal; it's deeply affecting. But tracks like "Cognitiva," with its unaccredited, kittenish vocals and unremarkable lyrics, over a nice bass line, is just that: merely nice. There's nothing wrong with it but, come on, this is Paul D. Miller, über-intellectual, cutting-edge sample-meister. "L'Autre," with its simplistic, repetitive chord progression and melodramatic strings, is no match for the hyperactive cut-ups of "Multiphonic," with virtuoso turntablist Rob Swift. With anti-corporate rhetoric, references to codes-within-barcodes and philosophical overtones, The Secret Song only implies radical action. If you want that aspect of Spooky, you'll find it on several tracks in the CD that comes with his provocative book, Sound Unbound. Those are both more challenging and artistically more nutritious. (Thirsty Ear)