Mr. Dibbs | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Mr. Dibbs 

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Cincinnati's Mr. Dibbs is the leading member of the turntable crew 1200 Hobos as well as the touring DJ for Minneapolis hip-hoppers Atmosphere, but he's probably best known for a pair of peculiar 12-inches he made in the late 90s. "231 Ways to Fry an Egg," issued on Four Ways to Rock in '98, is a ten-minute tour de force stitched together from fragments of electric blues-guitar solos, nightly-news sound bites, and jazz horns; if DJ Shadow had preferred gutbucket funk to the orchestral sound track variety, his early stuff might have sounded something like this. A year later Dibbs put out "The 30th Song (The River City Scratch Assassin Meets the Duck Delta Bound)," on which he cut Muddy Waters's "Mannish Boy" to ribbons, reassembled the bits into a hip-hop beat, and scratched in Robert Johnson's "Hellhound on My Trail." The 30th Song (Rhymesayers Entertainment), a newly issued survey of Dibbs's output, includes both tracks ("The 30th Song" has been renamed "Delta Bound") plus some new cut-ups. "Captain Splatter Patty" is built on a handful of fluttering flare scratches and three notes of cop-show-theme guitar, while "I Hate Greg" gradually covers a crunchy breakbeat with a thin skin of gurgling electric piano, clock tower bell chime, scratched bass note, and computer fritz. As a piece, The 30th Song makes a case for Dibbs as the most interesting turntablist currently working. Tonight's bill also features Atmosphere, Heiruspecs, Dillinger 4, Contriband, Deejaybird, and DJ Nikoless; the show is all-ages. Sunday, April 13, 5:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Dan Monick.

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