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Customer Review

on 1 May 2003
Unless you're into buying vinyls, you're unlikely to have heard of DJ Format. In the past 4 years, Format has had profound success in the UK Hip Hop Scene with the few singles he's released, but as with most UK DJ's, it's been an uphill struggle. His first major track 'Vinyl Overdose' on the compilation 'Return of the DJ vol.2' swiftly led him to talks with MoWax records, but to no avail, before touring with jurassic 5...as their driver! Thankfully his true potential was recognised with his single 'English Lesson' (Inspired by Cut Chemists' 'Lesson 6') and his 'ill Culninary Behaviour' single, which paved the way for an album deal.
The album thankfully contains both of these singles, as well as a more recent single release 'We know something' with guest vocals provided by J5's Charlie 2na and Akil - a surefire winner from the start. Despite his obvious contacts, don't assume that this album is all about cashing in favours from friends. This album is a masterpiece in more ways than one. Format aspires to the sounds of the early 90's, old school hip hop scene - the fresh, pre-gangster rap sounds that de la soul, Main source and Tribe called quest produced, and the samples and breaks that have made the likes of J5 and Ugly Duckling so popular. But it is his choice in collaborators that really brings the tracks to life. With the highly addictive vocals of the canadian MC 'Abdominal' in 3 of the tracks, and the influential style and vocals of the Bristol-bourne 'Aspects' amongst others, each track is truely unique in its own right.
One might be forgiven in assuming that so many collaborations in one album could provide a rather clinical, 'rent-an-MC-for-a-day' sound that is so often the case. In formats case this couldn't be further from the truth. You can instantly tell that Format works well with all his guests and you get the impression that his choice of samples and breaks are all influenced by the collaborator. This, and the way the tracks seem to easily blend together, despite their uniqueness, provides for an absolute masterpiece of an album. Whether you like HipHop, funk, or old school beats'n'rhymes, 'Music for the Mature B-Boy' is a winner, and should surely be one of the best albums of the year.
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4.4 out of 5 stars