Polyrhythm Addicts Break Glass

Back in 1999 when DJ Spinna, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Apani and Mr. Complex dropped the stellar Rhyme Related EP, they could stake a claim, based on the late ’90s independent hip-hop boom, as being a supergroup of sorts. Fast-forward eight years to a radically different landscape and their profile is so underground it’s burrowing close to the Earth’s core. If the heat is on though, the quartet seem to be quite oblivious to any potential obstacles. Tiye Phoenix replaces Apani here and any doubts of whether she can rise to the occasion are answered on the first verse of sinister opening track "Smash.” Her versatility as a vocalist also adds another dimension to Spinna’s eclectic sonics. Known for being able to create anything, from house to hip-hop to neo-soul, Spinna is the other group member standing out, sequencing the proceedings meticulously. Shabaam Sahdeeq and Mr. Complex provide steady support throughout. Mr. Complex displays his usual flair for flows and seems to be in a raunchy, humorous mood. Shabaam Sahdeeq brings the rugged attitude but his overall presence seems rather muted. Nevertheless, this is one of those instances where the sum is definitely greater than the parts. It’s hard to say whether many would be interested in solo efforts by each of these artists individually but hearing them pass the mic on the ascendant "This is My Life” shows that they deserve the mass appeal that has eluded them so far in their careers. (Babygrande)