D-Styles, Phantazmagorea

D-Styles, Phantazmagorea (2002)

With song titles like “John Wayne on Acid” and “Smorgasbord of Sodomy,” Phantazmagorea commutes Beat Junkie and former Skratch Pikl D-Styles’ outrageously dark humor from EP-length break records like Bitch Slapped Breaks. The dark prince of turntablism shows off with plenty of signature rhythm scratching, cutting in time to the beat of “Murder Factory” as the production shifts from a funky drummer roll to a shuffling series of handclaps lifted from Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Throughout, D-Styles banks on the premise that a well-constructed scratch record with no spotlight-hogging MCs or radio-friendly samples can sustain listeners over the course of an hour. Often sounding like an extremely violent video game as D-Styles decapitates DJs with crabs and flares (check the Pac-Man samples on “F.U.P.M.”), Phantazmagorea’s strength and weakness lies in being overly faithful to a heavy funk sound that hearkens back to mid-80s bass tracks by Too Short and Egyptian Lover. It’s considered one of the best albums of the turntablism era, a style of performance that never quite made the leap to album-length statements. Beat Junkie Sound.

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