Click here to return to the main site.

Music Review

Cover Image

Solar Life Raft


Artist: DJ Rupture and Matt Shadetek
The Agriculture
RRP: £12.99
Available 09 November 2009

DJ Rupture and Matt Shadetek have been busy working on their first extended project together to bring us their new album, Solar Life Raft.

American born Rupture began his career when he Djed internationally in Wax Poetic, a band featuring Norah Jones. Following the 2001 release of his highly influential Gold Teeth Thief mix CD he went off on his own. He has had appearances at major festivals such as SONAR (Spain) and the Pitchfork Music Festival, released a fourth mix CD, Uproot and a live album; Patches, which was part of a duo project with guitarist Andy Moor of The Ex. All of this has been going on whilst Rupture has been hosting his weekly radio show on WFMU.

Lifelong New Yorker, Shadetek is one of America's great producers, with albums Burnerism and Pale Fire winning him fans across Europe and America. He is one of the few US producers to record on the UK's Warp Records. With a wide variety he has released instrumental hip hop, dancehall, dubstep and many things in-between. With his recent turn to dance production featuring Caribbean and African influences he has won support from the ultra competitive Brooklyn teen dance hall scene as well as trend setting DJs like Skerrit Bwoy, Diplo and Green Lantern.

These are two individuals who share their love of streetwise dance music coming from a ground up participatory perspective as well as more experimental sounds.

It was due to the recession that Solar Life Raft came about as Rupture, in response to the recession, decided to stay local, in Brooklyn, and work with nearby friends and collaborators. He invited Shadetek to co-produce the mix and offered fellow Brooklynites Gang Gang Dance, Telepathe and Jahdan Blakkamoore their skills to remix their tunes.

This is a 22 track album which has highs and lows with some good, bad and some down right weird tunes.

The album starts of quite well with 'Space Cadet, Strength in Numbers' - what I would describe as a African/ Caribbean sounding dubstep track, it's cool and laid back. There is lots going on in this track from sonic to brass and the vocals are pretty awesome too.

Track 5, 'The Bad Dance, Get on up', has a similar vibe to 'Space Cadet, Strength in Numbers'. The African vibe is mixed with sonic and some good beats which mixes into track 6, 'Green Disorder', and carries on the theme.

Track 7, 'Underwater High Rise', is a little more upbeat and crisper sounding. You can hear the music trying to move on in a different direction here, more along the lines of sonic dance.

Track 9, 'Coltan & Cassiterite, Nightshade', is just downright weird. To me it's noise on top of noise and track 10, 'More Pets', is just as weird, the vocals are annoying and I just can't feel the beat.

There are some pretty weird 'spacey' tracks on this album like track 13, 'Mothertongue: Pt. 1' the vocals running throughout are annoying and strange. There is no real beat to this track and I just don't get it! And track 18, 'Archives Génétiquement Modifées Part 2' which is too weird for words.

Track 17, '4th Story Waterline', is dark, but has quite an emotionally charged feel about it with the strings. I like this track in a weird way.

Track 19, 'Long Road (Lion Dub & Matt Shadetek Remix)', moves us back to the African vibe which is a relief. The vocals are a welcoming sound to the ear, I love the melody and chorus to this tune.

The album finishes with 'In Your Line (DJ /Rupture & Matt Shadetek Remix)', a slow melodic tune and ghostly sounds.

This is by far the most diverse album I have heard in a long time, from its 'dancey' African/Caribbean vibes to the most spaced out weird noises mixed with sonic and dubstep thrown in.

Some may say these tracks are genius but I'm afraid I say they are messy and annoying!


Helena Rea

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£9.79 (
£6.99 (
MP3 album
£7.95 (
MP3 album
£9.99 (
£7.99 (
MP3 album
Timeblind & Matt Shadetek - Solar Life Raft
£7.99 (iTunes GB)
MP3 album
£8.97 (
MP3 album

All prices correct at time of going to press.