Mr. Dibbs – Turntable Hardcore 2

3 out of 5

Label: Self Core Records

Produced by: Mr Dibbs (?)

A whirlwind, masterful and weird bit of turntablism, mashing together everything and everything else into a seamless mixtape of punk and hardcore and hip-hop and beats. Mr. Dibbs’ approach on this second Turntable Hardcore set lulls the listener in with some chopped up samples and ambience, before getting to a pop-tune beat about halfway through opener Taste of Death… and then dropping us into the hardcore chugga chugga (with amped up drums) that is the surface level draw of these sets – bringing in music styles that generally don’t sit side by side with DJing.

Dibbs keeps the pedal down for much of the album’s first half, hitting hard on beats that are played up from various rock and metal sources. He’s not afraid to let whatever he’s sampling take center stage when it serves the song, allowing whole verses to play out on occasion, but his sense of when to break the flow is pretty perfect; Dibbs also chops and screws with everything in ideal quantities to prove he’s not just doing lazy remixes, but is also mindful of not being too showy.

For better or worse, though, this still comes across as a mixtape more than anything, and that’s a format I tend to tire of after a while – despite the most skillful mixing, there’s a lack of identity since it’s a patchwork of other materials, and things start to feel like beats in search of an MC. It’s sort of unavoidable with mixtapes, at least for me, and to his credit, Dibbs shoos that sensation away exactly by being so outlandish with the stuff he’s smushing together. The wow factor on that can only last so long, of course, which is why Turntable Hardcore transitions moreso to hip-hop styles in its latter half. It’s a smart move for presenting this as an album, meant to be listened to as a whole piece; still, the immediacy is necessarily tempered by this approach, and maybe just doing an EP of either half would’ve been better.

The slickness of these mixes is always apparent, though, whatever the style, and even if I’m criticizing the dip in immersion that occurs over the course of the disc, it’s also a very listenable, very repeatable album.