1 January, 2001@12:00 am
While packaged and presented as one, All Mixed Up isn’t a mixtape at all, but instead an ever-evolving organism of DJ Spinna’s heavy beats. Collecting twenty-three of Spinna’s most obscure remixes outside of his traditional hip-hop production, this 74 minute mix encompasses his career thus far, and defines him as one of today’s greatest beatsmiths.
A glance at the tracklisting may seem like reading a foreign phone book, as with the exception of De La Soul and Mos Def, most of the artists featured on the disc are relatively unknown to the average head. Reason being is that this mix collects Spinna remixes of various trip-hop, acid jazz, neo-soul, electronic, and whatever else Urb Magazine might classify as “future music”.
Flawlessly mixed, this collection begins as cool coffeehouse background music, and ends as a funky breaker’s delight. The sounds of Les Nubians (“Makeda (DJ Spinna & Ticklah Mix)”), Guiro (“Solevision”), and Terranova (“Chase The Blues (Domecracker Remix)”) starts things off on a mellow, soulful vibe, but towards the end of the mix, expect to see the cappuccinos left at empty tables, with instead a packed dancefloor – thanks to Spinna’s brilliant remixes of tracks from Runaways UK (“Finders Creepers”), Freddie Fresh (“It’s About The Groove”), Wiseguys (“Start The Commotion Remix”) and Shirley Bassey (“Spinning Wheel”).
Excellently building momentum, the listener doesn’t realize where the last track ended and the new one began. Spinna’s production style is distinct as DJ Premier’s or Dr. Dre’s, with each of his tracks including his trademark elements - hollow echo effects, snare happy drums, heavy over-encompassing basslines (ala Jay Dee), and low-treble samples - creating a unique style only he can call his own.
Which leads to All Mixed Up’s most impressive factor - that being it’s uniform sound. While most of these tracks were released miscellaneously as b-sides on obscure import 12″ singles, Spinna’s mix sews it all together, as if each scattered mix was intended to contribute to the bigger picture. Not to mention, we’re certainly in for a treat listening to a DJ mix his own records - whereas Spinna’s other recent mixes, Wonder Wrote It and Strange Games and Things, feature him using a variety of artist’s records, All Mixed Up is executed best, simply because the vibe is consistent, and Spinna obviously knows the in’s and out’s of these records better than anything (or anyone) else. Certainly one of the best DJ mixes of the year – chalk it up as another winner from Spinna
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