DJ Spider - Democide

  • Weird house and techno from New York.
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  • Rob Hampton's music as DJ Spider is a balance of the functional and the esoteric. Like DJ Qu and Joey Anderson, his take on house and techno is dark and unconventional. But his music is somehow trickier to pin down. In the past few years, Hampton has released 12-inches everywhere: Thema, Berceuse Heroique, Rekids, KILLEKILL, The Trilogy Tapes, Finale Sessions. The range of styles those labels release points to the slippery nature of Hampton's work, as well as his strangely broad appeal. Still, Hampton feels like an outlier—he's name-checked less often than other New York-based contemporaries, which is perhaps down to those esoteric qualities in his music, testing the nerves of DJs and listeners alike. But the warmth and immediacy of Democide, Hampton's third LP as DJ Spider, leap out from the start. On the opening track, "Kill Your TV," a wobbling synth melody is prominent. But underneath there are some typically mucky DJ Spider effects. The melodious lead lifts the mood, but the shot of weirdness remains. On tracks like "Warhead" and "Enemy Of The State," Hampton demonstrates a bold musical touch—the soaring jazz-funk keys on "Enemy Of The State," for example, evoke Glenn Underground. The synths are more ambiguous elsewhere. In "Photon Sex Bot," the pad harmony sits beneath a tangle of squiggling threads in the midrange, the effect sounding like Hampton was drumming on taut steel cables. A similar effect is heard on "Doomsday Counsel," where harmonious tones are obscured by a thick curtain of noise. Hampton's unique stamp is strongest when he goes even further out. "The Vector Symbology" slaps, but it's definitely not DJ-friendly. The wobbling flex of the mutant acid pulse sits awkwardly against an already fractured beat. If the album closer, "Necro Nebula," is more linear in execution, its industrial beat is still nightmarish in spirit. "1984" is the album's most direct and effective dance floor track. Under the clamour of military samples, Hampton spells out a grim vision for how peak-time material would sound in his hands. It's consistent with his previous work, but proudly left of the traditional "dark techno" centre. The sound is unquestionably Hampton's own.
  • Tracklist
      01. Kill Your Tv 02. Warhead 03. War Is A Racket 04. Enemy Of The State 05. Repeat Offender 06. Photon Sex Bot 07. The Vector Symbology 08. Doomsday Counsel 09. Necro Nebula 10. Alien Implant Removal 11. Stagecraft Psychosis