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Minesweeper Suite

Minesweeper Suite
(Tigerbeat6 Records)

Flat out, this is the best mix CD that I've heard in the last year. It was probably only about 9 months ago that I first became aware of DJ/Rupture, and that was through his "Gold Teeth Thief" bootleg mix available on his website. That mashup caught my attention with an absolute disregard for genre, but had such a dynamic flow and edge that it caught me off guard and made me want to bust a damn move. A prolific artist, Rupture quickly followed that up with this release, as well as a side project under the name Nettle (several tracks of which appear on Minesweeper Suite).

Musically, Minesweeper Suite isn't a lot different from Gold Teeth Thief, as both of them seem to throw caution to the wind in terms of artist included. This newer release, however, is much more finely honed, and the mixes seem to be made a little bit more musically, rather than just being flashy. There are still a ton of ups and downs, and he still favors a liberal amount of noise and destructo-sized beats, but he offsets it all with plenty of downright lovely moments. In all, it's 24 tracks and just under 75 minutes of madness (and in my opinion deserves mention next to the classic Coldcut mix of the same name).

Like a six-armed maniac, Rupture has put together the release using three turntables, and as you may guess from the number of tracks, it's a release that keeps you on your toes (although it doesn't jump so much that it leaves you ragged). After opening up with the almost tribal sounds of "Jibal Al Nuba" by Mahmoud Fadi laid down over the top of "Gemini Dub" by J-Boogie, the album quickly changes gears and shifts into an interesting hip-hop/r+b mashup that cuts back and forth, building tension as the beat changes into a grimey jungle sound. This all in turn mixes into some world music sounds over the top of another rumbling beat, and some almost ragga vocal stylings.

The disc just continues to go on like that. Thick hip-hop lumbers into Dat Politics colliding with acoustic guitar sounds. Sitars play over glitch-hop beats and Nina Simone sings over super-dark electro-tinged electronic. Indian vocalists collide with frantic drum and bass which in turn gives away to straight-up rap. Kid 606 and Cex share space with everyone from Joshua Abrams and Giles Gobeil. There's a sense of humor that shows through on the release, but unlike his earlier mix, there aren't any moments that play out seemingly simply for their yuk value (as on the inclusion of the cutup mix of MC Hammers "Can't Touch This"). Instead, it plays like a more assured, steady mix from a DJ who seems to be on top of his game right now. While people talk about people creating mixes that are more than a sum of the parts involved, this is one disc that such a statement definitely applies to.

Rating: 8.25