Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

dj/rupture: Uproot [The Agriculture, 2008]
At first I thought, Why so glum, chum? Listenable and well-mixed, the guy's rep precedes him. But emotionally I heard little more than the downcast post-high of the chillout room. Only then the record flipped on me. There's plenty in the world to be bummed about, and if the cultural fate of the Middle East isn't as high on that long list as it was a year ago, Rupture is here to remind us that it's still around to bite us in the collective ass. No fan of his art-dance scene, I don't recognize a single source record of the 24 he flows in here. But in this sequence they speak to me of resilience, intelligence, openness and loss. Most aren't explicitly Islamic, but Middle Eastern sounds and rhythms contextualize the toasting, the dub, the electronica effects. Elegiac rather than dancey, but elegiac about the preconditions of the dance, it states, sustains, and varies a bracing mood. It even has an ending. A-