Review: DJ/Rupture and Matt Shadetek – Solar Life Raft (The Agriculture)

Sometimes, a mixtape is not just a mixtape. It’s a cohesive, flowing, logical, exhilarating work of art. For example, DJ/Rupture and Matt Shadetek’s Solar Life Raft. Read my review here or below.

DJ / Rupture and Matt Shadetek, innovative producers and DJs in their own right, have made this year’s ultimate mixtape, a combination of dubstep, reggae, and experimental electronic, ambient, and techno. A sampling of the artists reworked, remixed, and blended into this seamless flowchart of beats and soundwaves include Gang Gang Dance, Jahdan Blakkamore, Nico Muhly, and Matty G.

Solar Life Raft begins breathlessly but subdued, with Shadetek’s “Strength in Numbers” softly pulsating, an ambient dancehall anthem. It’s really not until Stagga’s stuttering “The Bad Dance” begins that the beats get wicked and heavy. From that point on, Rupture and Shadetek’s mix sheds its baby teeth for True Blood fangs, swirling through Caroline Bergvall’s weird, spoken-word “More Pets,” Cardopusher’s acid-infused “Green Disorder,” and culminating with Telepathe’s neo-R&B “In Your Line.” Clearly, this isn’t your typical mixtape.

The two DJs used three turntables to create the album, which was recorded over two days at Rupture’s home studio. It’s clear from the sequencing and selection that this was a labor of love for its creators, who have managed to take some truly weird and unconventional songs and make them bump.

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