Review Summary: Mr. Dibbs has created an album that borders on schizophrenia, with just a touch of turntables and trip-hop.
Mr. Dibbs might be best known as having a song on the Tony Hawk's Underground soundtrack (Skin Therapy). It happens to be on this album, which is why I checked it out. Being on the best Tony Hawk soundtrack, it stood out as one of the freshest tracks among the rest. After downloading the first song, "Outreach 5", I was convinced to get the rest of The 30th Song.
Mr. Dibbs is a turntablist and producer out of Cincinnati, who was part of 1200 Hobos. He falls somewhere in between DJ Cam and DJ Q-Bert. He does not have the dexterity of the latter, or the ability to scratch like he does, but instead focuses on the groove of a beat. Like DJ Shadow, he samples the components and uses them as a new song. DJ Cam is the most accurate comparison to Mr. Dibbs, although they are both accomplished DJ's, they would rather apply intelligent songwriting instead of impressive showmanship.
Like any good DJ, he knows how to sample voice clips to raise the emotional and physical appeal to his songs. "Outreach 5" only has one voice, and he uses it over and over, but because he is such a great producer, each time around is a little more special than the last. It has the same structure as the Secret Chiefs 3 song "Siege Perilous". Both have only one or two lines to them, but they are repeated and successfully made better through a keen sense of dramatic heightening.
This album is a cross between turntablism and trip-hop. There is scratching on every track, but unlike most scratchers, Dibbs uses it very sparsely and maintains his focus of a better song through less activity. For example, the song "Machine" has a storyline through voice sampling. But when he scratches the voices to either make them delayed or repeat themselves, the song has more weight than what it did. Other songs border more on trip-hop, like the standout "I Hate Greg" and "Rhythmic Soaring", the latter being built on rare grooves and thick fuzzy drums.
Let's talk about the track "Skin Therapy", because that might be the reason why you are here now. This is the most turntablist he gets on the entire album. It's a pounding, driving track, with the nastiest bass line you will ever hear. The end of it makes you feel extremely claustrophobic, and you wonder how you enjoyed the first two minutes of the song, and still enjoy the end of it. It's one of the best songs on the album.
I have come back to this album time and time again, because of the enjoyability of it. Most feel that turntablist/trip-hop is a dark genre, and this album fits that stereotype well. The album is thick, dark, but humorous, one of the few in its community. It succeeds so well because it manages to be fun and dark at the same time. Overall, this is a consistently solid release, with no flaws.