Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #9 DJ Spooky - Under the Influence


Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until we unveil our #1 album of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#9 DJ Spooky - Under the Influence

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, is defining 21st Century music with more insight and intelligence than perhaps any other artists on our list. Miller is an artist across all media. He's a painter and a sculptor; he's a writer, commenting on the arts in his own books and for publications such as Slate, The Village Voice and Raygun; an audio/video artist, remixing and revaluing the racist Birth of a Nation; a political activist for the EFF and Creative Commons; a bit of a philosopher for the mash up age (check out his essay collection: Sound Unbound). Miller's worked with everyone from the STX Ensemble to Eno to Dave Lombardo of Slayer.

This eclectic and prolific nature is inherent in all of Miller's music production, too. The best example is Under the Influence. It's startling when you recall that this album was released in 2001. Miller anticipated so many of the changes that have occurred during the decade, from the send-up of mash up culture to the blurring of music genres. Spooky spins us through a solid hip hop history lesson on Under the Influence. This record somehow manages to feel both as old-school as backpacks and Chuck D and as new as Spank Rock. Jazz, too, resonates as a relevant living form under Spooky's needles, underpinning the album's electronic milieu and reinforcing the fact that African American music has enjoyed a long and crater-deep cultural impact. The overall production quality of this album was something new back in 2001; listening now, it's lost none of its freshness.

- Ken Manning

Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.

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