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DJ Spinna’s accomplishments surpass those of most DJs, yet he remained strictly an underground artist despite his astonishing talent. Though primarily known for his hip-hop work, Spinna also expanded his reach to include downtempo house music as well. The New York DJ remixed tracks for many artists such as Soulstice and Nightmares on Wax. He also produced a number of artists such as rappers Guru and J-Live and his own rap group, Jigmastas. Along with his partner, MC Kriminul, the duo debuted as Jigmastas in 1996 with the single “Beyond Real,” which they released on their own independently operated label of the same name. Besides his Jigmastas albums and his occasional productions, Spinna mixed several albums for various labels. For instance, Raiding the Crates (2002) compiles tracks from the Chicago deep house label Guidance, and The Beyond Real Experience, Vol. 2 (2002) compiles tracks from his own label. In addition, Spinna was deeply connected to the BBE label, most notably through Strange Games and Things (2001), which creatively compiled an eccentric blend of old-school tracks such as Eddie Kendricks’ “Girl You Need a Change of Mind,” Rick James’ “Mary Jane,” and Donald Byrd’s “Wind Parade.” He also mixed 2009’s The Boogie Back, which focused on late-’70s and early-’80s post-disco. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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