With the soundbombing that local PA systems will endure this weekend, as DJ /rupture and King Cannibal visit for separate events, some may as easily imagine themselves in Kabul as in the dim corners of an underground club in New York or London. Indeed, from the essay DJ /rupture (a.k.a. Jace Clayton) wrote for The National about "world music 2.0," it sounds like he wants to be Berber or Latino or West African.
But Clayton is just a kid from Boston who grew up DJing in the '90s drum 'n' bass scene. Not until 2001 did he release his first mix CD, Gold Teeth Thief, concocting the multi-culti mélange characterizing his "maplessness." Both Gold Teeth, on Kid 606's Tigerbeat6 label, and its 2002 followup, Minesweeper Suite, received year-end accolades in U.K. mag The Wire.
But DJ /rupture doesn't stop at remixing. He released two original albums: 2004's Special Gunpowder and Patches, a recent collaboration with guitarist Andy Moor of Dutch art-punkers The Ex. He's also been hella busy touring the globe, running two labels -- his own Soot Records, and Dutty Artz with formidable mixmaster Matt from Team Shadetek. He also hosts a weekly WFMU radio show, and writes a blog called "Mudd Up!" (www.negrophonic.com), where he comments on anything from snails to the Gaza Strip.
Across the pond, in 2004, a Brit named Dylan Richards was swimming in waters similar to Girl Talk's, mashing more than 100 artists from Autechre to Britney Spears into a mix called One Foot in the Fire One Fist in the Air. Known as Zilla, he caught the attention of electronic bastion Warp Records, which hired him (and Buddy Peace of Lex Records) to rework the label's back catalog on a DVD.
Following festival gigs with IDM-ers Plaid and Mike Paradinas, Richards perfected a gritty, crunked-up approach merging techstep drum 'n' bass, ragga dancehall and the emerging realm of dubstep. Reborn with the new moniker King Cannibal, he debuted with EPs on Kid 606's Shockout imprint and peaked with last year's Let the Night Roar -- a dark and heavy opus from the respected Ninja Tune label, known for innovators Amon Tobin and DJ Vadim.
With relentless low-end, raw-throated emcees (such as France's Face-a-Face) and thoroughly dystopian atmospheres, Roar is a continuation of Richards' street-level horrortech, which received heavy exposure on Mary Anne Hobbs' BBC Radio 1 show and is equaled in intensity possibly only by Kevin Martin (a.k.a The Bug). Gird yourself for battle.
DJ /rupture with James Gyre. 9 p.m. Thu., Jan. 28. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 412-621-4900
King Cannibal with Beautiful Bells, Xanopticon, Mind Tiger, Local, 8 Cylinder, Johnny Jitters, and DJs rar Kelly and Natty Boh Peep. 9 p.m. Sat., Jan. 30. Ava Lounge, 126 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. $6. 412-363-8277