Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light
Genres: Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
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Wagonerism | Boston, MA USA | 04/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album tries to take a large step from where hip-hop (it's golden age) was at the time. Divine Styler meshes rap with spoken word and live instrumentation, and, on some pieces, seems to make the music speak the words that he doesn't speak himself. It's an amazing album from start to finish, and can take the listener on an incredible emotional ride. But it's so far left of center for what is produced by the typical rap artist that one really must be ready for it. I fell in love with this album when it came out, but recognize that not all listeners would agree with me."
True and extreme innovation and introspection
L. May | Big Sur, CA | 11/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is basically to hip hop what Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II is to electronica: Extremely different, groundbreaking, beautiful, sometimes disturbing and self-indulgent, the amplified and distorted musings of a man who has temporarily gone mad with the beauty of the world and his own inner torment. The worst you can say about this CD is it's so introspective you have to really want to contemplate the roots of Divine Styler's angst to fully "get it." Like Sonic Youth on their first album, Divine Styler was on this disc willing to be noisy just for the sake of the noise, the venting, and the pure self-expression that came with it. Some incredible rhythmic experiments here too, to which a few non-conformists including myself danced our asses off repeatedly in the early nineties while more conventional folks hugged the walls and scoffed. Ten or twenty years from now maybe another hip hop artist will come along who is, for a brief period, as uniquely creative and anguished as Divine Styler was during the making of this album. Totally different from 95% of Wordpower 2 (though there is one beautiful spoken-word/acoustic track on W2 that evokes memories of Walls) and his relatively conventional earlier stuff. Inspiring to those who value genuineness and defiance of genre boundaries, terrifying and unpleasant to others. Thank God there are still a few copies floating around.
David B. Wilcox | your bleeding eyes | 08/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No rap CD is more important to me than SPIRAL WALLS. I didn't really understand it at first. It makes absolutely no concessions to the listener, or to any preconceptions about good or bad music, or rap or non-rap. Divine Styler was clearly a man possessed; he howls, whispers, gurgles and raps his way through rock, folk, and musique concrete tracks with utter abandon. The central theme is religion; nearly every track refers to Allah in some way or another. But there's no peace to be had here; DS seems to be performing a spiritual self-exorcism, and he pledges his devotion while surrounded by choirs of demons. No wonder this CD didn't sell any. To me, it points the way to a new rap aesthetic, one so fearless that even DS's peers weren't ready for it. A decade later, it's still way ahead of its time. That's slowly changing, and I predict that someday SPIRAL WALLS will get its due from a new generation of artists. Hopefully, I will be one of them. As an aspiring musician, this CD showed me that I wasn't the only one who loved rap but was desperately bored with the current scene, and wanted to violently disembowel it and build something new from the scraps (and whatever other scraps could be found). If you feel the same, hunt down a copy of this album. Just be sure to give it a few listens before passing judgment."