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Review: Russell Baillie

The second album by the pioneering Kiwi DJ Darryl Thomson finds a potential logistical nightmare - recording using voices from all over the rap world - hopefully transforming into a hip-hop dream team.

Well, he's got MCs from the United States, Canada, France, Germany and home on the 14 tracks, not many of whom you would have heard of, unless your ear was extremely close to the ground.

The result is an album that can both complain about New York cops with Channel Live on F. C. C. - and Glen Innes' infamous "street of shame" on Madeline Avenue, a collaboration with former area resident Dave Dobbyn.

Add the Curtis Mayfield-by-way-of-Ice-T lifting exuberant single I'm Your MC by two women crew Sage and Gravity, the enjoyable Gallic nuttiness of the Saian Supa Crew on 123, the soul crooning of Algerian-born Ryad on Liquid Skies and you've got an album that says ... what exactly?


Well not enough to be accused of thematic cohesion.

But its United Nations approach does say something cool about life in the hip-hop Third World, even if the aforementioned Channel Live contribution sounds a bit rent-a-gangsta.

Funnily enough, DLT's debut LP True School was named after his long-time bFM radio show. His second sounds more like the shortwave version.

Largely enjoyable but, despite its ambitious scope, a sum of the parts kind of affair.