Crossfade Into You

Are DJs mix masters or mess makers? Sometimes, it's hard to tell

DJ /rupture is quickly garnering nearly as much hype as Brooklyn's cheap-drum-machine enthusiasts, but he's more substance than style. Last year's Gold Teeth Thief was recently reissued in a limited edition by Violent Turd, the New Zealand-based offshoot of Kid606's Tigerbeat6 label. (My guess is that copyright lawyers wield less power in Auckland than in San Francisco.) And like its predecessor, DJ /rupture's new Minesweeper Suite (Tigerbeat6) plays like a soundclash between the African Diaspora and the Motherland itself.

With beats like these, who needs a Mach 3? Playgroup, a.k.a. Trevor Jackson
Ali Kepenek
With beats like these, who needs a Mach 3? Playgroup, a.k.a. Trevor Jackson

Minesweeper is both noisier and more ambitious than Gold Teeth Thief: When the jazz-funk keyboards of J-Boogie's "Gemini Dub" suddenly crinkle into origami shapes underneath Mahmoud Fadi's "Jibal Al Nuba" at the disc's beginning, it's a warning that nothing is going to remain settled for very long. So when the DJ floats Missing Linx's a cappella rap "In Front of You" over a combination of tracks by Mentol Nomad, DAT Politics, and Cul de Sac, it's every bit as grimy and cinematic as a DJ Premier track. The only difference is that the back alley that /rupture evokes is in Cairo, not Brooklyn. In one sequence, he switches from the gorgeous, hypersyncopated Timbaland-spawned funk of Foxy Brown/Baby Cham's "Tables Will Turn (Bubba Mix)" to So Takashi's tinkling midtempo hip-hop "Untitled A1 From 'Nubus'" without breaking a sweat. When the vocal snatch underneath intones "Gimme bits and pieces," it's less a statement of purpose than a call to arms. None of which will necessarily make DJ /rupture a superstar. Guess he'll just have to settle for being a great DJ.

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