There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Some of the negative stereotypes you conjure whenever you hear someone utter the phrase “music nerd” or “music snob” are richly deserved. But ever since the crate-digging set turned its hobby into a craft—the hip-hop-pioneered, avant-embraced art of DJing—it’s become a lot harder to believe that a Nick Hornby–grade obsession with records and record collecting is an exercise in futility. Take DJ/rupture: On his latest offering, Solar Life Raft, the impressively prolific outré turntablist and producer again proves that extensive musical knowledge amassed over many, many record store visits pays hefty creative dividends. On Solar Life Raft—a 25-track set put together with fellow Brooklynite and producer Matt Shadetek—DJ/rupture combines a wide variety of harvested tracks. For example, Babylon System’s addictive dubstep cut “You Sit Down Too Long” plays a prominent role, as does Obama inauguration poet Elizabeth Alexander. Such sampling, mixed with a handful of self-produced numbers, makes an arresting work that will appeal to both clubgoers and listeners looking for something a bit further afield. To do it, Rupture and Shadetek rely on a creeping dubstep backbone—in addition to Babylon System, Shackleton makes an appearance, as does Barcelona’s Cardopusher. It also helps that both Rupture and Shadetek themselves are quite comfortable working with the stuff—which, in its head-bobbing accessibility, provides some cover for potentially difficult contributions from the likes of Philip Glass protégé Nico Muhly, weirdo French composer Luc Ferrari, and poet Caroline Bergvall. The breadth of the included artists occasionally leads to an awkward transition or two, but overall, Solar Life Raft makes for great listening. And for that, you can thank the heavy love of records, record shopping, and the other maligned traits of music obsessives, without which stuff like this wouldn’t exist.