DJ Rozwell


(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
None of This Is Real (2014), 7.5/10
Sludge Dredd (2014), 4/10
Late Night Serial Killer Prank (2014), 4/10
Murder Burger (2015), 4/10
Sitcom (2017), 4/10
Sludge Judy (2018), 4/10
What Happens After the Death Is Recorded (2021), 6/10
KFCMC: Cortex Rampage (2016), 5/10
KFCMC: Loss Prevention Reloaded (2020), 6/10
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West Virginia's DJ Rozwell (James Sherrill) rose to prominence as one of the greatest practitioners of instrumental hip-hop with the surreal collage of None of This Is Real (2014), ostensibly made of 55 songs that are meant to be played randomly (almost a tribute to John Cage). It's a dizzying merry-go-round of second-hand hip-hop beats, commercial jingles, ambient drones, guitar solos, dungeon synth motifs, sound effects, videogame soundtracks, glitch illbient, radio broadcasts, all drowned in analog reverb and sometimes lo-fi crackle to project the feeling of listening to old records or cassette tapes, and sometimes warped in a psychedelic manner. Plunderphonics was pioneered 30 years earlier by John Oswald and Negativland, but this is plunderphonics for the generation that never heard those names.

The subsequent albums were mostly self-indulgent (and often tedious) displays of his production skills while deconstructing various musical genres: Sludge Dredd (2014), which contains 28 songs for a total of 73 minutes, Late Night Serial Killer Prank (2014), Murder Burger (2015), Sitcom (2017), Sludge Judy (2018), etc. These albums indulge too much in computer edits that any amateur user could do.

The 20-song What Happens After the Death Is Recorded (2021) is his most coherent effort since his plunderphonic classic. It boasts the virulent and dizzying Vatican Vault, the warped post-pop ditty Picture A Hand, the fake psychedelic-rock jam Cumming In Socks, the anthemic REM-ish leitmotif The Tadpole King, the plodding industrial-hop shuffle The Hypnotized Guts, and a whole bunch of disorienting electronic vignettes. But 10 songs would have been plenty.

DJ Rozwell also launched an industrial-metal side-project named KFC Murder Chicks that was documented on the five-song EP Golden Age of Gross Mystery (2014), the mixtape Dariajams (2015), the album Cortex Rampage (2016), and the eight-song EP The Shape of a Burning Credit Card (2019), containing the abrasive and pounding Rage. KFCMC's 14-song album Loss Prevention Reloaded (2020) contains such highlights as the hip-hop vortex Status Symbol, the thundering and hyper-syncopated Disposable, and the metal-industrial jam Root Canal. The nine-song mini-album KFCMC (2022) contains devastating heavy-metal explosions like Dune (with Anna Pest on vocals) and the musical machine-gun of Half Life, as well as metal-hop hybrids and a new version of their signature power-ballad Tsundere 2.0. .

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )