DJ /rupture is a flat-out musical genius. Preternaturally adept at crafting singularly pure mood explorations whole-cloth out of disparate samples, producer Jace Clayton is nearly as well known for his insightful writing on music. He’s one of my favorite electronic artists working today. One of my favorites of all time, in fact. He’s often lumped in with the humble ‘mash-up dj’ category, which is a grave disservice to the prodigious talent he displays, especially on this album.
First things first: just put the album on now, with a set of headphones (or good stereo with some bass presence). Press play. Absorb. This way, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Uproot is an album which feels so cohesively unified, hypnotically of-a-piece that one could be forgiven for assuming it’s not sample-based upon first listen. Every single moment has so much attention paid to the connections and frictions between beats and vocals, synths and strings, pacing and flow, there are simply no seams in the production. That fact alone places this lp miles above anything traditionally recognized as ‘mash-up’ – this resides on a level closer to Endtroducing or Avalanches than Girl Talk.
Conjuring the ghosts of reggae, dub, afropop, techno, grimy hip hop, dubstep, idm, and even post rock precedents/outliers like Dif Juz or Seefeel, Uproot is a smoky mix of pulsing, impulsively grounded head-nodding beats and extraterrestrial atmospheres. Vocals and orchestral phrases shift in and out of the mix while a constant bed of low-end throb envelops perception. The deeply narcotic sense of comfortable oblivion is overwhelming.
By the final withering reverberation Clayton has taken a journey from flute-peppered break beats through modern avant composers to melancholy post-apocalyptic ambience, conveyed en route by dub ideals and echo-laden empathy. This is an evolution of the soul. A journey of the mind. A fucking incredible mix.
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Note: when you obtain Uproot the tags may be crazy – a predictable result with complicated artists like this. For the proper version check (strangely enough) the last.fm page and simply copy what they’ve got. This will help you know the prominent sample(s) on each track as well as the proper names.
Be sure to read his blog as well: mudd up!
[purchase this, as Clayton himself offers: at iTunes or amazon]