DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid (born Paul Miller, 1970), is a Washington DC-born illbient and trip-hop musician, turntablist and producer. He borrowed his stage name from a character in a William S. Burroughs novel.
Growing up in DC, Spooky became interested in punk and go-go music, and attended Bowdoin College in Maine, earning degrees in French literature and philosophy. He began writing science fiction and formed a collective called Soundlab with several other artists.
In the mid-1990s, Spooky began recording a series of singles and EPs. His debut LP, "Songs of a Dead Dreamer", is now widely regarded as a formative influence on illbient. "Riddim Warfare" was an underground hit that include collaborations with Dr. Octagon and other cult figures in indie rock.
He then worked with several other artists on various collaborations and mix CDs, returning in 2002 with "Modern Mantra". That same year saw the release of "Optometry", a widely acclaimed collaboration with avant-jazz players Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Guillermo E. Brown and Joe McPhee. This album also features portions of a breaks record by Billy Martin of Medeski Martin & Wood.
DJ Spooky also composed the score for the 1998 film SLAM, featuring poet/actor Saul Williams in the lead role. The film went on to win both the Cannes Camera D'Or and the Sundance Festival Film Festival Grand Jury Prize.
In 2004 DJ Spooky released a book, Rhythm Science published by MIT Press. The same year saw the launch of his film/music/multimedia performance piece "DJ Spooky's Rebirth of a Nation". A live audio/video re-mix of D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation which includes footage from choreographer Bill T. Jones and a score newly composed by DJ Spooky, "Rebirth of a Nation" was commissioned by the Lincoln Center Festival, The Festival d'Automne a Paris, The Spoleto Festival USA, and the Vienna Festival. DJ Spooky continues to tour the world performing this work.
2005 sees the release of "Drums of Death", DJ Spooky's CD based on sessions he recorded with Dave Lombardo of Slayer. Other guest artists include Chuck D. of Public Enemy and Vernon Reid of Living Color. The record was co-produced by Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto.
DJ Spooky is also a professor of music mediated art at the European Graduate School where he co-teaches (with Michael Schmidt) an Intensive Summer Seminar in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
Not to be confused with the similarly named, UK electronica duo, Spooky.
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