Mr. Dibbs

The 30th Song

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A more concise work than many of his earlier mixtapes, The 30th Song is definitely one of Mr. Dibbs' producer records, a mostly instrumental journey through moods and grooves with (slightly) less emphasis on the sprawling grandeur of one of the Midwest's best turntablists. Instead of the usual flashy moves, Dibbs plays around with other techniques, using clever pauses and drop-outs to good effect for "I Hate Greg" and great transformer work for a screeching guitar solo on "Outreach 5" (with Fat Jon). The nine-minute live epic "Omega Prophecy" features Tommy Davidson and the Guinness-record-holding drummer Boo Boo McAfee (he once played the drums for a month straight). "231 Ways to Fry an Egg" samples another solo studio wizard (Paul McCartney), and the standout "Delta Bound" borrows from a pair of blues legends: the plaintive wail of Robert Johnson (from "Hellhound on My Trail") over the Chicago bump-and-grind of Muddy Waters ("I'm a Man"). The result is a turntable jam that's nearly as raw and effective as a blues. Poised halfway between the grandiose sonic austerity of DJ Shadow and the turntable madness of most turntablists, Mr. Dibbs shows how it's able to age gracefully in hip-hop. (Of course, as proved on the closer, "Porntablist," he's still able to have plenty of fun.)

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