Dilated Peoples The Platform

When they dropped the incredible 1998 single "Work The Angles," with its ridiculous beat changes, swift deck work and assured flows, Dilated Peoples brought new-found interest to the underground scene of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. After releasing a steady stream of momentum-building twelve-inches on Beni B's ABB imprint, the group's full-length bow is being issued via the major label route, but the only significant change is the conceptual focus. On The Platform, Evidence, Iriscience and DJ Babu, of World Famous Beat Junkies, are on a mission to revive the spirit and passion arising from all facets of hip-hop culture, favouring a sound that betrays a thinly-veiled affinity for late '80s and early '90s boom-bap. As well as providing his rugged in-demand beats, Evidence's able, deadpan flow contrasts favourably with MC Iriscience's lively energy and broad lyrical content, and the sizeable West Coast cameo contingent. And DJ Babu's vital contribution, often supremely dicing up lyrical snippets, proves why "this cat's more felt than slipmats." With the expectation created with the trio's run of banging singles, all of which are included here, some may be initially disappointed with some tracks that digress from the path of their underground anthems. And while their purist steelo does occasionally overwhelm the beats and rhymes, the obvious care taken in making The Platform an album rather than a disparate collection of tracks earmarks it as a valid b-boy document. (Capitol)