If you know DJ Spinna then you know The Jigmastas, if not, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Before providing beats for the diverse likes of De La Soul to George Michael, Spinna honed his wholly unique production talents with longtime associate Kriminul, the rhyming-half of their duo, The Jigmastas. Their foremost 12″, “Beyond Real” shared shelf space with a host of fellow freshman soon-to-be the next weathered Rap vets. Back in the day when Fat Beats was nothing more than the basement of an East Village Brownstone and acts like Company Flow and Mos Def were spouted off in subway banter paired with the likes of Godfather Don, Natural Elements, and Mike Zoot; when majors were majors and indies weren’t even that, Spin and Krim prevailed with a revered 12″ following that rode the wave of the independent boom. Back then, LPs were unimaginable feats for such groups, The Jugganotz album alone caused major tremors.
Well, if you haven’t guessed it (or didn’t even realize there was a past to any of this), those times are quite over – the elongated wait is through with and the Brooklyn duo finally deliver their long overdue full length release, Infectious. It’s fun to imagine what would of happened had they released an album at the height of an unsaturated indie-market (say 5 years ago): Insurmountable success? Mysterious reclusive ness (a la Juggaknots)? Ponder all you’d like, they’re here, they’ve been here and ain’t a damn thing changed. Spinna still knocks out space aged funk hits and Krim still maintains the milky raps that made the seminal “Beyond Real” and “Iz You Dee” so lovable.
Infectious marries the somber with the lively as Spinna pulls off respectfully banging bell-ringers (“Cliche”) coupled by subtle n’ subdued slow-rollers (“Reality Check”). In the ring with present day favorites like Evidence, J. Rawls, and Madlib, Spinna shows a distinctive maturity throughout the album’s 15 tracks, never too flossy but nothing idle at all. He’s got his formula and outside of Premiere it’s probably one of the most recognizable in Hip-Hop, differentiating wildly from lovely Hungarian female exercise loops in “Don’t Get It Twisted” to the dangerously-jiggy-yet-saved-by-the-vibes “Nocturnal Jam”. Kriminul plays his part in holding things down mic-wise, and if you’re a fan then you’ll undoubtedly be pleased, because as Spin’s music goes for twists and turns Krim mans the wheel with solid perseverance. While his beat-making counterpart might garner more attention from record consumers, the presence of Kriminul is wholly notable and hardly forgettable. Some heads might shutter at the R&B tinglings of “Hollar” and “Nocturnal Jam” or the sultry love-ballad in “C.S.S.”, but in all honestly the songs are carried out respectfully and just so long as consumers can keep open minded then no problems should arise.
Cameos range from the lovable Sadat X to the usual suspects (Apani, I.G. Off, Joc Max) to the legendary Vernon Reid to get this album out the wait wasn’t wasted, Infectious bumps with the same tenacity as our favorite old indies from 5 years back with a millennial squirt for longevity.
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