Quannum – Spectrum

QuannumSpectrum is one of my favourite hip-hop albums, which is surprising as it’s a compilation. It’s basically a sampler of the Quannum collective (the crew formally known as Solesides) whose members count amongst others Lyrics Born, DJ Shadow, Latyrx, Gift Of Gab and Chief Xcel. Throughout this compilation album, all get their chance to shine. Considering this was back in 1999 (man do I feel old saying that) and the group were all signed to independent labels, the beats are rough and not nearly as slick as today’s hip hop. DJ Shadow produced most of the tracks and you can hear his influence in all the tracks; there’s an organic cut ‘n paste method all throughout, although there’s not as much scratching as you’d think.

The whole album is presented as a late night radio broadcast, as presented Mack B Dog, but mercifully any skits in the whole album are short and easily skipable. The quality is pretty strong throughout, although as a fan, I’m inclined to mention Lyrics Born’s contribution. “Hott People” manages a kinda late ’80’s soul vibe but without sounding cheesy. Guest artist like Jurrassic 5 and EL-P slot in without any trouble, and J5’s contribution to “Concentration” helps kick the album off in fine style.

Best track has to be Lyrics Born & The Poets Of Rhythm’s ” I changed My Mind” a soulful, blues cut that stands out from the rest of the album because it’s so different from everything else. There’s competition from Lyrics Born collaborator Joyo Velarde who pops up with a sweet ‘n soulful track “People Like Me”. In the end, the real strength of Spectrum is the fact that it encompasses all these different types of music under the one banner, but doesn’t sound like a mish mash at all.

Lyrics Born & The Poets Of Rhythm – I Changed My Mind:



  1. matthew

    hey,great tune! i was watching backlog episodes of entourage and bang……..credits roll and this tune kicks in. i surfed various “soundtrack” sites and eventually someone’s comment eluded to this song and this band. i somehow ended up here and got all the info in needed. i intend to purchase this cd sometime and somewhere soon-though it seems like it might be abstract enough to prove difficult to find. hopefully i am wrong. thanks,

  2. Hope you find a copy soon, it’s a quality album. Strangely enough, I picked up an instrumental version of his album in Madrid of all places, a few years ago.

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