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DJ /rupture - Uproot

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Artist: DJ /rupture

Album: Uproot

Label: The Agriculture

Review date: Oct. 21, 2008

A new DJ /Rupture mix is dang near impossible to scoff at or reject. The man has unimpeachable taste (evidenced on his Mudd Up! blog and WFMU radio program), and if his work tends to lack a degree of full-tilt, ostentatious showmanship, the mind games contained therein provide enough motivation for repeated spins.

Rupture, a.k.a. Jace Clayton, developed his rep by mixing and mashing music from the world over. That global element isn’t as prominent on his fourth proper CD, Uproot, but it peaks out in samples and vocal tracks. Indeed, not much on Uproot achieves the outward intensity of a "club banger," but perhaps that’s a reflection of the current state of bass and break culture. As far as turning up the intensity goes, electronic breakbeats, inherently a little bit silly, reached an end with the Ambush scene, and those wishing to push beyond only deal in irony or self-parody.

A retreat lies in the coiled sub-hip hop of the sort that the Agriculture label has dealt in for years. The make-up of a worthwhile musical product is necessarily more complicated than adherence to a particular scene’s conventions, but, as of late, notable grime and dubstep artists seem to be taking their cues from this end of the spectrum. There are, of course, exceptions – Rustie, DZ, and Caspa come to mind as folks who interject balls-out spazz into the dub frame. But deeper and slower, rather than louder or faster, has been the order of the day.

Rupture highlights the trend, going so far as to sand some of the harsher edges of tracks by Clouds and Ekstrak or Scuba by mixing into the spacey dub of Frescoe or a straightforward ragga mash-up of Quest and Team Shadetek. The mix is all a slow burn, and moments of ostensible relief, like Ekkehard Ehler’s gorgeous Beatles loop "Plays John Cassavettes Pt. 2," tend to get lost in the shuffle.

This is just an observation, not a complaint. As stated above, Rupture is a globetrotter, and there are worthwhile consequences to this approach. When Busta Rhymes chants about getting Arab money and dopey "My culture is not a fad" sloganeering is the closest to a retort, it’s clear that we need more thoughtful folks of the world to responsibly mix sounds and cultures. Sometimes the volume needs to be turned down to hear what’s going on.

By Brad LaBonte

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