The LA beat scene’s new course in hip hop may be veering far too close to the multiple layers of synths of techy, fast-paced dubstep for many heads’ liking. However, it is also home to many producers who like to keep versatile, and seesaw between futuristic beats and more nostalgic beats, with jazz loops for instance. Dibiase, usually stylized as Dibia$e or Mr.Dibia$e, is a notable fit in this group. He may not be a producer you’re all too familiar with, but within the underground Los Angeles scene, he is often considered a conscientious underground legend. His laid-back music has been weighed against the likes of Nujabes, while his more modern-sounding, experimental beats have been compared to Flying Lotus’ work. Unquestionably something to flaunt.
Following his release of his “Cakeology” EP, Dibia$e is back with “Sound Palace,” another conscious wonder. Sure to give avid listeners of instrumental albums raging erections, or at least the ever-so-familiar urge to headnod. No sir, this is not music to listen to on a Sunday morning when you have nothing better to do. Alright, I’m getting carried away, but it’s still a good listen.
Dibia$e enthusiastically incorporates anomalous, abstract samples, and chose to follow a very distinct vibe throughout the album. The distinguishing quality of this album has to be the fact that it almost seems to represent a conflict between, or rather, an amalgamation of, his two styles of music. “Smooth Sailin” introduces us to the album with a mellow ambiance, as the name would suggest, and leads on to tracks with a more rugged, raw feel. Some tracks (“Fly Me 2 The Moon”) give the impression that he’s paying homage to Dilla himself. Others, namely “Rockout,” not so much. The album did have a few flaws. One of the biggest, I felt, was that transitions between tracks weren’t great, and variation and progression in the beats was lacking. Then again, with most of the tracks being around only two to three minutes in length, it’s expected.
All in all, about 35 minutes of absolute audio hypnosis, and some replay-value is definitely anticipated. My personal favorite tracks are Woman, Suncity, and Fly Me 2 The Moon.