Subharmonic jazz compilation featuring DJ Spooky, Bill Laswell, DXT, Spectre and more!
Rolling Stone - 9/7/95, p.703.5 Stars
- Good Plus - "...This time [producer Bill Laswell] takes on the mainstream monolith that hip-hop has become and leaves the beat ruthlessly assassinated...he assembles the raw and the cooked...the known and the unknown, into a mind-bending smorgasbord of sound..."
Melody Maker - 9/30/95, p.35
"...these experimental hip hop jams range from the dub-sluiced haze of Automaton...to the neo-Dadaist sound collages of DJ Spooky. New complexity trip-hop, anyone?"
This epochal compilation, masterminded by that journeyman genre-hopper Bill Laswell, sums up the many fragmented forms of electronica perhaps no better than other collection in recent memory. Released in the latter half of the 1990s, when audio-mutagenics was dividing faster than an irradiated paramecium, VALIS captures musicians at the edge of the abyss, fomenting new styles and subjugating the old by sabotaging new technologies.
Automaton, featuring Laswell, opens the proceedings with the monstrous toxic hip-hop dub of "Ex Machina," before master turntablist DXT takes a scalpel to the urban streets with the steel wheels sample-fest of "Bullit in the Head." Corporal Blossom dissects jazz, rock, and hip-hop with the angry sound collage noise of "Senseless Humor." DJ Spooky mixes things up further on "Journey," spinning the voices of revolution amid chattering subway trains and the detritus of soiled vinyl grooves.