Triple Threat 

Many Styles

Internationally known for their award-winning turntable tactics and various mix CDs, the Bay Area's own Triple Threat DJs -- Apollo, Shortkut, and Vinroc -- present their first proper album, flaunting their formidable skills while showcasing a number of local players. The guest list is deep and impressive, but it's the trio's own track construction and high-octane cutting displays that are really impressive.

While not a "scratch" record per se, the team struts its stuff on a few select joints, most notably the intense, ever-evolving sound collage "Bring da Ruckus," the neck-breaking funk of "Two-Minute Warning," and the brief but fresh, old-school-flavored "We're Triple Threat." Though some DJs emphasize showing off over actual listenability, these cats (who spin regularly at club nights around the world) clearly know how to keep the party moving. The album's 23 selections touch on an array of genres, featuring some tight reggae and near-R&B numbers, as well as the requisite straight-up hip-hop.

Souls of Mischief come hard with the rugged "Y'All Feelin' It," while Talib Kweli and Main Flow break it down on "Hip-Hop Worth Dying For." Other winners come from Planet Asia and Zion I, and fellow super-DJs Rob Swift and Roc Raida also pay a visit. One of the album's hottest tracks, "We Got That" (with Roc Roo) flips an elastic bassline guaranteed to stick in your head for hours. Several quality skits comically address the hassles that come with the territory; wack emcees who wanna jump on the mic, impatient song requesters, scratch-nerds who want their mixer autographed, and so on.

Many Styles is aptly named, and further proves that Triple Threat is one of the best crews in the business. More than just turntable tricksters, the trio makes music that anyone with an ear for dopeness can get into. A truly impressive album that bangs from start to finish, this belongs in every head's collection.


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