DJ Spinna

Here to There

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DJ Spinna does it like most can only talk it. Coming from the ethnically diverse streets of Brooklyn and learning the art of DJing in the eclectic atmosphere of college radio, Spinna effortlessly moves from hip-hop to house to funk and groove without causing the typically rigid music industry to bat an eye. He is a rare talent who can mix CDs for both underground hip-hop giant Rawkus and revered New York house label King Street. BBE's "Beat Generation" series was custom-made for Spinna, encouraging well-known producers to make an album without any of the usual restrictions of genre or commerciality. And while spectacular releases by Jaydee and Pete Rock remained mostly in the realm of hip-hop, Spinna follows the lead of DJ Jazzy Jeff by turning in a recording that plays out like a music collector's ideal urban radio station. The opening carnival of "Alfonso's Thang" announces the album's intentions with the sort of old-school hip-hop funk that everyone loves. From there, Spinna runs through R&B, broken beat, hip-hop, and house with equal ease. No matter what the style, the production remains lush and musical. Spinna's production is so strong that every cut maintains a central vibe, even with a different vocalist appearing on each track. Such an accomplishment places Spinna next to fellow modern visionaries 4Hero, King Britt, and Carl Craig, all of whom wait their turn to be written into history next to legendary producers such as Quincy Jones and Gil Evans. Listeners can only hope that contemporary ears will become more attuned to musical statements that transcend easy genre compartments.

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