Personnel: Afu the True, Trim Ken Slim, Davey Chalice (vocals); Huey Cox (guitar); Donald Harrison (flute, tenor saxophone); Dave Darlington (keyboards, fretless bass); Bill Lounge, Shi Reltub (vibraphone).
Recording information: Bass Hits Recording Studio, New York, NY; Sound Doctor Studio & Resort, North Bergen, NJ.
Unknown Contributor Role: Sara Webb.
Though Digable Planets only released two albums, 1993's REACHIN' (A NEW REFUTATION OF TIME AND SPACE) and 1994's BLOWOUT COMB, they still established themselves as one of the most unique and sophisticated alternative hip-hop acts of the '90s. For some reason, however, the DPs never got their propers. A 2005 reunion tour and BEYOND THE SPECTRUM: THE CREAMY SPY CHRONICLES, Blue Note's well-packaged compilation of the group's output, should help to remedy that oversight.
Comprising tracks from the trio's two studio albums--including hits like "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)"--as well as two B-sides and two remixes, BEYOND THE SPECTRUM is the perfect introduction to the Planets' laid-back, jazz-fueled vibe. All the things that made their albums great sound as fresh and appealing as ever: the funky, head-nodding beats, the samples of Art Blakey and Lonnie Liston Smith, the witty hipster double-speak, and the mellifluous voices and flow of the three MCs (with Ladybug's sultry delivery adding perfect counterpoint). The set should help rescue them from obscurity and place them rightfully alongside such luminaries as Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul.