• DJ Spooky

Back in 1995 New York’s DJ Spooky (aka Paul D. Miller) made himself the face of the so-called illbient scene, a promising movement that styled DJs as sound sculptors just as likely to make use of the incidental noise of vinyl—pops, crackles, hisses, skips—as the actual music contained on it. But in the years since, just about all of Spooky’s aesthetic comrades have evolved into artists much more compelling than he is, especially DJ Olive and Mutamassik, who’ve become viable, serious improvisers and collaborated with a dazzling range of musicians. Spooky seems better at lofty, often impenetrable rhetoric than music making, and when listened to outside the protective bubble of his theoretical mumbo-jumbo—rife with academic name-dropping and words like “datacloud” and “recombinant”—his output has usually been pedestrian if not downright boring.