Sonic Smash

Sonic Smash

by DJ Spinna


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Sonic Smash

"Always reliable but unpredictable...One of the most efficient architects of sound," is how Joc Max heralds renowned producer DJ Spinna on the intro to his album Sonic Smash. A mainstay of the East Coast underground since the mid-'90s, DJ Spinna gained a reputation as one of New York's elite (though often overlooked) beatmakers. One half of the Jigmastas and leader of the now-defunct Beyond Real label, Spinna imprinted his signature production style -- characterized by his knack for creating a soulful, space-age sound out of dusty samples from the likes of Roy Ayers and John Coltrane -- on many of the hottest underground 12" releases of the past 15 years. Spinna's Sonic Smash is everything that the hip-hop producer vehicle should be -- namely, a showcase for the man's unique style of beatmaking with guest vocalists whose contributions are fitted to the production behind them (and not the other way around). Spinna brings back a slew of mid-'90s indie rap favorites (Juggaknots, Shabaam Sahdeeq, J-Treds, Lil Sci aka John Robinson) and former Beyond Real collaborators (Dynas and Jigmastas partner MC Kriminul) while also recruiting newer underground stars (Phonte of Little Brother, Torae, Sputnik Brown). The end result is a collection of finely crafted and unmistakably Spinna beats backing up a capable group of brainy, b-boy-centric lyricists. There are nostalgic calls for cultural appreciation ("Elemental," "Lyrics Is Back"), socially conscious tracks ("More," "More Colors"), a love letter to the Big Apple ("New York [Duck for Cover]"), and a handful of quirkier outings. Breezely Brewin and J-Treds borrow some lines from the Cheers theme song on the sitar-driven "Making Your Way in the World," while female MC Tiye Phoenix examines African-American history from a revisionist's point of view -- claiming that Abraham Lincoln and first president of congress John Hanson were of African heritage -- on the intriguing "Still Golden." Spinna wraps thing up with a jazzy, neo-soul homage to J Dilla that borrows from a handful of different tracks by the late great producer. Virtually every song is a gem -- with both headnodding and thought-provoking merits -- and Sonic Smash ranks alongside Pete Rock's Soul Survivor, Hi-Tek's Hi-Teknology 2 and DJ Muggs' Soul Assassins LPs as a prime example of what hip-hop producers' "solo" albums should ideally sound like.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/21/2009
Label: High Water Music
UPC: 0822671000826
catalogNumber: 8

Album Credits

Performance Credits

DJ Spinna   Primary Artist
Tayler Carr   Vocals

Technical Credits

Mickey Oliver   Composer
Michelle Willems   Art Direction,Cover Photo
DJ Spinna   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Cut
Oxygen   Producer
Khrysis   Engineer
Phonte Coleman   Composer
John Brewer   Engineer
T. McInstosh   Composer
Tayler Carr   Composer
Sputnik Brown   Producer
J. Powess   Composer
J. Everette   Composer
H. Lloyd   Composer
H. Best   Composer
E. Rico   Composer
D. Ogbourne   Composer
D. Marshall   Composer
Alejandro Tello   Engineer
A. Ampadu   Composer
M. Vialva   Composer
Antonio Del Villar   Composer
J. Hill   Composer
J. Thomas   Composer
John Brewer   Engineer
A. Theodore   Composer
P. Smith   Composer
V. Williams   Composer
M. Richardson   Composer
D. Williams   Composer
J. Robinson   Composer

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