DJ Spinna Here To There

To say DJ Spinna is versatile is an understatement. First coming to notice as a producer during New York's mid-'90s hip-hop indie renaissance, Spinna was also paying the bills playing gigs at house clubs and this breadth has informed much of his music. An obviously restless creative spirit, Spinna is a perfect candidate to contribute to BBE's continuing Beat Generation series that allows producers total creative control. As the title implies, Here To There is a freewheeling journey through Spinna's musical tastes. Using funky instrumental interludes blending live instrumentation and turntable antics to cross musical bridges, Spinna starts out serving up straight up hip-hop injected with words of wisdom and purpose where Spinna's Jigmastas partner Kriminul, Apani B & Jean Grae in a tag-team effort and impressive newcomer Rise dutifully rip the mic. On the more soulful second half, Vinia Mojica, a vocalist known for her back in the day work with the Native Tongues collective re-emerges with an impressive tempo-changing jazzy meditation "Idols" and UK vocalist Shaun Escoffery repays Spinna for remixing his "Days Like This" single into an inescapable house anthem last year, appearing on the mid-tempo floor stomper "Music In Me." Although the range of styles may initially seem loose and disconnected, there's an obvious sleight of hand at work as it becomes clear the artists manifest Spinna's personality. When he convincingly and explicitly makes the links to Pan-African musical traditions in the outro, the loose ends on this adventurous compilation are tied up. (BBE)