Record Review - 2 March 12 2003

Sharing between them almost all of competitive turntablism's accolades, Triple Threat DJs Apollo, Shortkut and Vinroc have approached their debut full-length as means to showcase not battle routines but production with an ear toward party rocking. Working as a collective more than a crew, Triple Threat presents, as the title states, many styles that favor flair over flares, embracing East Coast to West, rap to raga, in its six-armed reach.

Many Styles relies on the time-honored guest-MC tradition, but it sounds more like a Pete Rock collection of productions than a Funkmaster Flex mix tape + freestyle compilation. Zion I, Talib Kweli, Mystic, Black Thought, Souls of Mischief and Planet Asia are just some of the talent featured among the shorter showcases, which nick familiar breaks to appease scratch aficionados.

The only caveat: Some song beds are constructed of a repetitious swing that nears monotony, built on the almost-tangible tradition of beat juggling. But Triple Threat puts an ear to the floor to maintain melodic flow. Many Styles should raise eyebrows and tha roof.

Triple Threat DJs spin at MJQ Concourse Fri., March 14.