DJ WALLY/DJ LOW/DJ SPOOKY/DJ GRAZHOPPA - END OF UTOPIA

CD (Compact Disc)

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Label: SUB ROSA

Release date: 03/11/2008

Barcode: 2090503209411

Catalog no.: SR0000132

Item ID: 320941

If trip-hop is really supposed to mean "trippy hip-hop," then nothing comes closer to the lysergic ideal than this multi-artist disc on Belgium's arty Sub Rosa label. No wailing divas, no corny keyboard stabs, no faux jazz; Utopia simply places classic "old school" drum breaks up front and lets the timbre and color shifts of mutating sample collages do the rest. The exception is "illbient" meta-maestro DJ Spooky, who dispenses with beats in favor of sweeping shards of noise and symphonic disturbance on "Seuqugolana" and "Reciprocal Presupposition." The other tracks kick back: DJ Grazzhoppa's "Subconscious" layers a hip standup bass figure over a funky breakbeat, glittering bells, and shortwave radio frequencies. DJ Low's polyrhythmic "Rose Soup" is a cinematic frenzy of breathless huffs and filtered drum loops, morphing into Doppler-effect screeches and the distorted sound of a woman sobbing. Part of trip-hop's original urge was the "F*** dance--let's art!" battle cry. The End of Utopia doesn't need to lead the charge; it's already behind enemy lines. --James Rotondi.

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