3 out of 5
Produced by: ANT
Before I lay in to some of my criticisms on this disc, let me offer up the overriding rule, here: the guys making up The Dynospectrum – Slug, I Self Devine, Sab, Swift, and DJ Ant – are all massively talented, delivering endlessly inventive layers of lyrics and impressive beats for all of this long playing album’s seventeen tracks. Ant swings between more aggressive beats, soulful samples, and laidback beats, suited to the various spitting styles of each Rhymesayer. Putting on any individual track from The Dynospectrum leaves no doubt as to the crew’s skills, and, in isolation, would have me scrabbling out to pick this disc up, or each dude’s various solo offerings.
But: The Dynospectrum were not a group. They were a collective. It’s a mix tape. There’s an incredibly solid kick-off EPs worth of material to the disc – wherein everyone espouses the mind-opening abilities of the ‘Spectrum, and their legitness and general commentary on life’s struggles and whatnot – on which the rountable of rhymers are given equal chances to shine, and Ant impresses with his range. Thereafter, though, we spiral out into more general praise. ‘The Dynospectrum’ as an adjective for describing all things cutting edge is amusingly used throughout to promote and repromote the group; some sharp ideas emerge – Southside Myth’s concept of finding a relative Southside wherever you go is an interesting examination of culture – and Ant does what he does in laying down slick beats and letting the lyricists take the lead over it. Unfortunately, when you have a mix of such strong and differing voices, that “lead” never quite solidifies, nor does any theme beyond ‘Dynospectrum is the best’ really come to the fore. That’s the mixtape sensibility, like this is a demo reel for Slug, and Self, and etc., and it’s a damn good one, but again: it’s a 70+ minute one. That initial set of tracks is so impressive and so comparatively tight that once you hit ‘The Brief Interlude’ and transition to a roundtable of boasting (no matter how smartly worded), a lot of Dynospectrum starts to blend together.
Step back, though, and take this one or two songs at a time, sprinkled in to a playset – the ‘Spectrum is a grabbing spectacle, no doubt. While I think Ant’s skills are better served backing up a single lead, and that solo outings from these guys are similarly more realized applications of their skills, the sensibility that you’re listening to a crew just waiting to bust out with eventual albums’ worth of greatness is palpable.