Quakers Stones Throw ****

Most music fans will associate Geoff Barrow with Portishead, but that collective’s current bout of inactivity has allowed him to work on his BEAK> and Drokk projects, and also helm this impressive album of hip-hop throwbacks. Quakers stars 35 different MCs over 41 tracks, so it’s laudable that Barrow, sound engineer Stuart Matthews and producer Katalyst have managed to create such a consistent piece of work from such a sprawling canvas. Full to the brim with back-in-the-day (well, mid-1990s New York) clarion calls and panache, Quakers is a brilliantly pitched, neatly stitched collage of short, snappy, super-fried breaks and beats. The rappers shine – Guilty Simpson on Fitta Happier, Aloe Blacc on Sign Language and Lyric Jones on Raid, for instance – but it’s the production that powers the momentum from beginning to end. stonesthrow.com/quakers  JIM CARROLL

Download tracks: Fitta Happier, Sign Language, Raid