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With Twilight Circus, hailed in reggae circles as the most happening of dubmasters, DJ Spooky has forged a record that is pure dub. It’s full of wide open spaces, beats hang in the air, and echo effects almost shimmer as they dissipate.

Dub, however, is only the template. Tendrils of free jazz, hip hop and arty electronica insinuate themselves around the beat. A flute flutters on the sidelines and suddenly dub has taken a trip to the Middle East. An angular, improvising horn pokes through and dub stretches to include experimental jazz.

DJ Spooky has made as much of a name for himself as a cultural critic and writer as a DJ and producer. On “Riddim Clash,” he proves again, however, that the “universal language of sound” that he espouses isn’t just all talk; Spooky is one of the most crucial turntable linguists.

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