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Optometry [Vinyl] Limited Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Limited Edition, July 9, 2002
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (July 9, 2002)
  • Limited Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • ASIN: B000069B00
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,593 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kenneth Harden on October 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is my third DJ Spooky CD (File Under Futurism, Modern Mantra, and Optometry) and I like it a lot!
File Under Futurism was garbage except for a few songs. Modern Mantra is absolutely spectacular, and I have listened to it over 20 (yes, twenty) times in that last week! This CD fits between the two. Some of the songs are great, some are just OK. The first few tracks are kinda toned down acid jazz, but after those are over, the CD starts to pick up. Some of the songs are a little too slow, but it all works together in the end. Some rap, some techno, some real imagination on the behalf of Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky.) I would not recommend this as a first DJ Spooky CD (that job goes to Modern Mantra in IMO), but if you like DJ Spooky, this is definitely a must have!
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Format: Audio CD
This great CD makes you sit up and listen! I am a jazz fan of long standing, preferring Miles, Trane, Monk, Rollins, etc..but I like to keep my ears open for new interpretations. This is a fascinating blend of great drum licks, keyboard and reed improvs, combined with beautiful, spacy, delicate mood pieces. Even the rap tunes, and I have not been much of a rap fan (until now) are extraordinary! I can hear Miles saying "yeah, man!!" Go buy it!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is a really great album that balances hope, promise, chaos, failure, and redemption. The art here - besides the brilliant musicianship - is that you _will_ have an emotional reaction from listening to this.

I've never heard his other albums, but I'm definitely interested after listening to Optometry.
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Format: Audio CD
This is such a successful fusion of jazz, acid jazz, trip-hop, and illbient that the CD deserves a genre of its own.

The work here is such a thick soup of sound that it takes numerous repeats to savor all of the flavor. Yet, it all meshes into such a tight seamless whole that its hard to imagine that any element was ever intended to be part of anything but these finished pieces. DJ Spooky moves tracks effortlessly from free jazz piano figure intros into pulsing thick funky grooves, loose and atmospheric like his best trip-hop underneath, smoky, moody and grooving like a hot jazz club on top.

"Asphalt (Tome II)" with its beat poet throw-down, and "Optometry" with its late 70s jazz clavinet are raw, burning, funking masterpieces. Ordinarily, a track like "Asphalt" with its spoken word center piece wouldn't get many repeat listens from me, but the vocal performance is as brilliant and exciting as any of the playing or mixing supporting it. After weeks of repeat listens, I'm still not burned out on this.

As other reviewers have warned, DJ Spooky is really stretching himself on this one. It's hard to believe this is the same artist who produced "Songs of a Dead Dreamer" or "Riddim Warfare" or "The Quick and the Dead." But what a successful stretch! Paul D. Miller is one of the sharpest most creative minds in current music, and this is some of his best work. Too bad this CD will never get the attention it truly deserves.
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Format: Audio CD
DJ Spooky, the stage name for Paul D. Miller, is an electronic and experimental hip-hop musician who has created many complex and well-known albums. One of his most famous albums is "Optometry", which was created in 2002 in collaboration with several other jazz players including Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Guillermo E. Brown, and Joe McPhee. This CD, full of surprises and unique sounds, is a highly acclaimed CD of fresh sounds.
The genre of this CD has been debated for there are constantly new ideas and instruments being introduced throughout. "Optometry" is both fully a DJ outing and jazz album. The beginning of the album "Optometry" consists of free jazz with soul as well as DJ squabble. Yet the pieces steadily change into more meditative moods. DJ Spooky uses his mixing board and turntables and plays the kalimba, and bass.
The opening "Ibid, desmarches, ibid" begins with traffic sounds and then a snare-heavy rhythm begins. This beat continues throughout while a bass begins to play a catchy sound and soon followed by piano chords to bring them all together. The sound is intense and makes you want to tap your foot.
On "Reactive Switching Strategies for the Control of Uninhabited Air", snares, toms, and cymbals are used to create a unique rhythm. The time signatures vary between four and eight, and there are various timbres and harmonics emitted by the individual musicians, also producing the quartet sound. The major focus of this song is the keyboard sounds between the lines and the varying gaps between segments.
"Variation Cybernetique: Rhythmic Pataphysic (Part I)" is next and begins with speedy piano notes that produce a reverberating sound. A violin begins to play and percussion begins to produce noises soon after the violin comes in.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a fine piece of work. DJ Spooky is tops in my book. What better way to create a master work than to hire the help of musicians like William Parker, Matt Shipp, etc...
Great, great album!
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