Dilated Peoples Expansion Team

When Dilated Peoples dropped last year's The Platform, its potency was somewhat dimmed by the fact that the singles that had generated high expectations for the release comprised too much of the record. This time around, Rakaa Iriscience, Evidence and Babu have played their cards closer to their chests, with the Alchemist-produced single "Worst Comes To Worst" being the only material available before the album dropped. Despite the presence of several producers, such as Da Beatminerz, Premier and, of course, Evidence himself, Expansion Team represents the solidification of the distinguishable bouncy mid-tempo beats that are Dilated's trademark. While the MCs aren't known for their mind-blowing delivery, the tracks are clearly tailored to match their flows, and Evidence and Iriscience's well established chemistry yields braggadocio rhymes that are subtler this time around. Babu gets more room to flex this time also, and on "Dilated Junkies," members of the Beat Junkies turntablist crew, where Babu first established himself, get to step up to the turntables and catch vinyl-shredding wreck. Other guests include the inimitably loony Phil Da Agony and the Roots' Black Thought. But the sublime "Pay Attention!," the especially sobering and unfortunately relevant "War" and the sound-clash flavour of "Trade Money" illustrate the growth the trio have done themselves. And while there's nothing equal to the earth-shattering "Work The Angles," it's clear that Dilated are now more in tune with how to play to their strengths. (Capitol)