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DJ /rupture: Minesweeper Suite


DJ Rupture

Album: Minesweeper Suite
Label: Tigerbeat6

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With his brain-bending megamix Gold Teeth Thief, DJ /rupture upped the ante for DJs and Internet culture by taking the theoretical promise of both to startlingly literal extremes. While notions of recombinant evolution and unhindered dissemination have hovered around turntablism and the Internet for years, few works have grounded such claims in reality as well as the underground relic that began 2001 as a free downloadable mix on /rupture's web site and ended the year on a number of critics' best-of lists. The DJ's first official release, Minesweeper Suite, expands the near-limitless reach of Thief, which served as a pointed and timely exposition on the worldly roots of "Get Ur Freak On." The new album starts out similarly far afield, with a gorgeous choral chant led by Egyptian percussionist Mahmoud Fadl, whose mantric hand drums are layered with the gentle ambient nod of J-Boogie's "Gemini Dub." All of the album's tracks feature as many as four songs woven together, but as distended slivers of Aaliyah's "We Need A Resolution" rub against shards of jungle and Eastern flute melodies, it's clear that individual songs are more prosaic than anything /rupture had in mind for Minesweeper. Giving equal weight to pop signifiers (Sade, Roberta Flack, Soul II Soul) and a planet's worth of less-heralded source material, /rupture lays out a subtle political tract whose premise seems rooted in the simple idea that acknowledging the rest of the world isn't necessarily political. More than most, he grants the messy duty of articulation to his music, baring the similarities and constructive clashes ingrained in American hip-hop, Jamaican dancehall, African pop, and Asian folk. Even during its stretches of tear-down-the-walls nihilism, Minesweeper never feels far removed from the time-stopping soul-cry of Nina Simone, whose "Plain Gold Ring" makes more sense than might seem possible in a musical world populated by Cutty Ranks, Dead Prez, Kid 606, Cul De Sac, and Foxy Brown. Chalk part of that up to DJ /rupture's plot-intensive skills as a mixer, but credit most of it to his notion that open ears serve as worthy parentheses around an open mind.