A sequel to DJ Spooky's Thirsty Ear recording OPTOMETRY is DUBTOMETRY, a new Thirsty Ear release. Whereas the first is a means to formally introduce the spinning turntablistic mixing intentions of DJ Spooky, the second is a means for focusing the ear on a similar process that uses the sonic material of OPTOMETRY as the spine of an entirely different orientation that shifts to the intellect and the heart.
The incorporation of words from a rapper, a narrator, songs from a vocalist and a new host of sounds selected from other recordings endows this CD with a slant that renders it political and international. The politics of the sound enhances the truth of the sometimes extremely basic words. The music echoes the longing of the black cultural state of affairs, the state of world culture. The question is asked how can the aura of culture be brought effectively to a plane of abstract, non-objective music & electronics.
"Relax, this is state of the art equipment".
The incessant choruses recalled from OPTOMETRY, Daniel Carter's amazing flute line, Joe McPhee's tenor sax & pocket trumpet lines, Matthew Shipp's outstanding block chords, serve to remind the listener of the support mechanism for DJ Spooky's statement. This recording reveals a more jarring layer of artistic blending and integration performed by Mad Professor, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and J-Live. Alter Echo, DJ Goo, Karsh Kale, Colorform, Blend, I-sound, Negativland, Animal Crackers and DJ Spooky , himself, are the remixers. The entire group is a band and the result of their performance is a rich piece of orchestration lifted beyond the spine into a musical form with a vibrant declamatory body.
DJ Spooky is intent on making it known that sitting down is not a means to encourage change. Rather that pushing the veritable envelope within the culture using accessible means, which glorify and speak to the vast array of unresolved and possibly irresolvable ethnic & institutionalized difficulties, can subversively make a dent in the status quo. The Subliminal Kid does that. He hones in on the keys to culture and speaks his mind within it. Sure, this is indirect. But think about the set of directed ambitions and potential repercussions. Freedom. Uh-huh.
Freedom is the acceptance of the responsibility for doing what is done. DJ Spooky operates fully within those principles in his choices, in his conduct. And an answer lies in the quality of the memory of what is said. I certainly cannot forget it. And if his recordings do not touch the minds and hearts of the contemporary culture in general, and the constituents of the culture DO have the right to submit or not to exposure to what his recordings say, then where lies a potential for change----- change that is supposed to occur by law, by removal of limits, by acceptance of certain media play. The rhythm, the drive, the just superimposition of one form of expression over another to create a point is a valiant effort. Clean up the mess and disband the creation of scapegoats. It is one thing to intellectualize a cultural movement. Yet, it is another to render it emotional, substantial, and make it alive so that it filters into the places where edges are removed and the differences between what is different are less pronounced.
That is the yin and the yang of it. DJ Spooky spawns the shell that encompasses and unifies both, dispelling the dualism. The shell is thin and delicate; it needs only sensitve, sensible caring to be conserved and made strong. Perhaps that happens from within-----where you and I come in.