Even though Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid) remains one of America's premier DJs and cultural theorists, his moment in the sun may have passed. Spooky-mania and the so-called "illbient" scene he headed in New York might have peaked a year or so again, but Miller has certainly left his mark. His mix of ambient music, dub, drum and bass, and hip-hop wasn't really that new, but his relative ease in combining the genres and subgenres was at times pretty mind-blowing. Perhaps keeping high expectations in perspective, Miller's major-label debut isn't the inaccessible monster some has predicted. Rather, the record is a surprisingly lithe and notably straightforward exercise in hip-hop psychedelia. With spoken word soundbites and washes of warbling, manipulated turntable sounds, there's plenty of stuff on Riddim Warfare to inspire bong toters to get down with their bad selves. Yet the best moments are, of course, the most beat intensive, as Miller knows rhythm (and riddim) like almost no one else. And being one of the best and brightest musicians in one of the biggest and most productive cities, Miller knows how to draw in the guest stars. Kool Keith lends a couple of predictably extraterrestrial raps to "Seein' Objects" and the title track, while Arto Lindsay with Nacao Zumbi adds some Brazilian spirit to "Quilombo Ex Optico." Miller's a smart guy, and Riddim Warfare is a smart record, a post-modern (of course) exploration of turntable history and a clear-eyed gander at the future of hip-hop.

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