On the surface, DJ Spooky’s new collaboration with Slayer’s Dave Lombardo is just the latest example of his try-anything aesthetic, which has produced avant-garde turntable symphonies alongside dancefloor-fillers.
But “Drums of Death,” due April 26 on Thirsty Ear, is more than Spooky cutting up rhythms from one of metal’s greatest drummers. With its cameos from Chuck D and covers of vintage Public Enemy material, the album also functions as a sort of homage to Def Jam’s pioneering rock-rap fusions of the ’80s.
“Basically Def Jam is kind of like the Motown of our current moment,” Spooky tells Billboard.com. “They are the empire. But I look at when Rick Rubin was producing bands like Slayer, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys as a kind of template for a lot of the things I’m into now.”
Thus, “Drums of Death” offers new versions of Public Enemy’s “B-Side Wins Again” (featuring guitar from Living Colour’s Vernon Reid), “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” and “Public Enemy No.1,” alongside equally hard-hitting originals like “Quantum Cyborg Drum Machine.”
To read more visit billboard.com.