Allies D-Day

The cult of the DJ is on the rise, and I'm not talking about those weak mix-tape DJs like Clue, Funkmaster Flex and Mastermind. No, the true DJ - or the turntablist, to use backpacker speak - is increasingly gaining notoriety through a large number of compilation sets such as Deep Concentration and Return of the DJ, and full-lengths from the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, the X-Ecutioners and the 1200 Hobos. Still, there are very few completely impressive turntablist albums. Add to this small list the debut album by the turntablist supergroup the Allies. D-Day is a crew album that features group collaborations and individual spotlight tracks by six individual ITF and DMC champions: A-Trak, Spictakular, J-Smoke, Infamous and DJ Craze. Where the album truly excels is in its versatility, a rare feat when it comes to the turntable album. There is no scrimping on either the beats or cuts, just a lot of bottom-end and deft turntable manipulation. The only real disappointment was Spictakular's "Gotcha Covered," the one track to feature a vocalist, thanks to the appearance of a lacklustre Mayhem over an uninspired Wu-Tang clone track. The three group tracks are good, but the album hits best on the solo cuts (which helps add to the versatility) like A-Trak's "All Hail My Hands," J-Smoke's "Ready For War," and Infamous's "The Anarchist Movement." But the highlight of the album is DJ Craze's middle-finger salute to all his critics who don't like his confrontational, no-holds barred attitude, with his song "Freedom of Speech." Truly as great an album as you would expect from a turntablist supergroup of this calibre. (Asphodel)