THE SECRET SONG
Itʼs been a while since DJ Spooky has released a new album, but during the interim, heʼs been busy. Very busy. Over the last couple of years DJ Spooky (real name, Paul Miller), has shot ﬁlms in Antarctica, produced a “remix” of the infamous ﬁlm from the beginnings of American cinema D.W. Grifﬁth, and yes, heʼs produced one of MIT Pressʼs top selling books of the last couple of years, “Sound Unbound” featuring essays from legendary ﬁgures like Steve Reich, Pierre Boulez, Chuck D, Daphne Keller (the Senior Legal Counsel to Google), Saul Williams, Brian Eno, Moby, and many others. If thatʼs not enough, heʼs been very very very busy reconstructing the role of the DJ as an artist with solo shows at highly established art venues like The Tate Modern, The Museum of Modern Art, Robert Miller Gallery. And oh - and heʼs even had a large concert at The Acropolis in Athens. Even the master of collage rock, Beck, remixed DJ Spooky for his ﬁrst series of mixes online. Thatʼs serious praise indeed!
The New Album and DVD
by DJ Spooky
In Stores NOW!
SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDE THURSTON MOORE OF SONIC YOUTH, THE JUNGLE BROTHERS, SUSSAN DEYHIM, THE COUP, ROB SWIFT (THE XECUTIONERS), SPOKEN WORD EMCEE MIKE LADD, AND MANY OTHERS
//PURCHASE AT iTUNES
//ALL MUSIC REVIEW OF THE SECRET SONG
//ALL ABOUT JAZZ REVIEW
//WALL STREET JOURNAL: SPOOKY ECONOMICS
DJ Spookyʼs new project “The Secret Song” – isnʼt really an album: itʼs a manifesto about the place of history in our modern collaged, scrambled, sampla-delic to the core, mega info overloaded digital culture. With references stretching from Thorstein Veblenʼs “Theory of the Leisure Class” and John Maynard Keynes classic in the ﬁeld of economics “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money” over to hip hopʼs relationship to psychoanalysis and a la Edward Bernayʼs concept of the “manufacture of consent” – DJ Spookyʼs new album is a groundbreaking meditation on hip hop and electronic musics relationship to philosophy, economics, and the science of sound in a world where the steady drumbeat of the ﬁnancial meltdown has made music the last refuge of young people with less and less time and money. DJ Spookyʼs peer group of artists like DJ Krush, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, RJD2, DJ Logic, Amon Tobin, and Coldcut have all played with the idea of concept albums. With “The Secret Song” DJ Spooky looks to bands like Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead for inspiration. As DJ Spooky likes to say "people - it's ALL about economics." Dig?
According to DJ Spooky, his new album ironically refers to a couple of things:
1) The “Secret Song” is made by failed ATM transactions, credit card fraud, and jazz motifs made into stock exchanges, and the futures market.
2) It is an album that says 2012 isnʼt the end of time, like the Mayan Calendar says – its just the end of the last Walmart.
3) The economics of music as the music industry as we know it goes through massive transformation – itʼs the new Stop and Shop of the Mind.
4) The Secret Song has tracks hidden in barcode throughout most of downtown Manhattan. Donʼt believe us? Swipe your Iphone anywhere you see barcode…
With “The Secret Song” we look back at the 20th century and see a couple of massive changes that put it in what DJ Spooky calls “history through lens of the sample.” Which brings us to the DVD that accompanies the new album. As you might expect from an artist whose music was the orchestration was voted the “Best Political Video of 2007” on Youtube, thereʼs an extra twist in the situation. Following in the steps of The Cinematic Orchestraʼs rescore of Dziga Vertovʼs cinema classic “Man with A Camera” – DJ Spooky remixed and created new music for Vertovʼs rare ﬁrst collage ﬁlm “Kino-Glaz,” the “Cinema-Eye,” from 1921. With Russian cinema and the history of sampling, DJ Spooky ﬂips old school and new school sounds into a sonic ﬁction landscape where rock meets dub and experimental jazz to create an album that links studio techniques like Terminator with a massive glitch. In fact, DJ Spooky says “The Secret Song” was made by Terminator 8 two summer blockbusters in the future. Seriously.
What do people think about re-constructing a classic song of a band that is one of the most sampled bands in hip hop, like Led Zeppelin? How do you make dub out of it and add strings? Ask the Golden Arm Ensemble that plays strings on most of the songs of the album.
“The Secret Song” is a relentless questioning of what experimental hip hop is about: pushing boundaries, looking at global changes in hip hop and jazz, and above all building bridges through collaboration: Iran, India, China, and the Republic of New York ﬁgure prominently on the new album. If Erik B and Rakim changed the course of hip hop when they sampled Ofra Haza, then “The Secret Song” is DJ Spookyʼs update on the hidden connection between world music and hip hop from a downtown NY, 21st century style.
From lyrics based loosely on Adam Smithʼs “The Wealth of Nations” read by a Chinese economist, Jing Zhou in Mandarin, to speeches from Cold War adversaries in the midst of a debate aobut the future of ideas – “The Secret Song” is DJ Spookyʼs take on the changing world of 21st century music, economics, and global culture. With material taken from collaborations with people as diverse as Sonic Youthʼs Thurston Moore, to Vijay Iyer, old school African hip hop legends Zimbabwe Legit, stunning turntablism with Rob Swift the legendary leader of the turntablist crew The Xecutioners, to political hip hop from The Coup, The Jungle Brothers, the renowned Iranian singer Sussan Deyhim (who sings in Farsi), Abdul Smooth from India, DJ Spooky connects the dots between jazz, classical music, and the struggle to create new, dynamic relationships between old school hip hop and the 21st centuryʼs rapidly changing info- culture landscape. The Post Modern Jazz Quartetʼs track “Pax Per Fidem” shares a title from an organization in Arthur C. Clarkes last novel “The Last Theorem”, and thereʼs a new voice in hip hop and R & B from Australia, Emah Fox. The Secret Song is an album that put DJ Spookyʼs brand of conceptual hip hop front and center with an eerily accessible palette of material that touches on rockʼs relationship to dub with reconstructions of Led Zeppelinʼs classic songs “Dazed and Confused” and “No Quarter” to more contemporary material from the legendary Radiohead, DJ Spooky relentlessly pursues a kind of eclecticism at the heart of when hip hop was new.
//DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE [pdf]