Tearing up the rulebook with a genre-defying pioneer.
In 2001 DJ Rupture AKA Jace Clayton recorded a three-turntable, 60-minute mix called Gold Teeth Thief. It's a turbulent ride that starts with Missy Elliot, passes through Venetian Snares and ends with Muslimgauze and Paul Simon. These kinds of middlebrow experiments are commonplace in today's more eccentric DJ circles. But at the time, the divisions that separated those genres, cultures and music scenes weren't exactly up for debate. Gold Teeth Thief was a breath of fresh air for dance music at the turn of the 21st century, and it turned Clayton into a cult hero.
Since then he's released a series of thrilling, worldly mix CDs: Special Gunpowder in 2004, then Uproot, which staked out his claim as one of America's earliest grime and dubstep advocates. After that came Solar Life Raft, with longtime collaborator Matt Shadetek, and together they founded the New York label Dutty Artz. Clayton's also an accomplished journalist and a sort of renegade anthropologist, with bylines in The Fader, Wire and New York Times Magazine. Along the way he's collaborated with Moroccan string players, composed orchestral works and designed his own set of highly conceptual software plug-ins. This summer he published his first book, Uproot, which weaves together stories from his world travels to help us understand how music and culture behave in a digital age. Ahead of his gig at Perpetual Dawn in LA next month, Max Pearl caught up with him at home in New York.