DJ Troublemaker knows what it’s like to work his way up. He was a marketing intern for Epitaph before co-founding hip-hop label Celestial. A collaboration with Z-Trip brought his talent to the forefront, and he’s been remixing cuts by the likes of Good Charlotte, Johnny Cash and Peter, Bjorn and John ever since.

With Maestro, Troublemaker is in a position to share the spotlight, and he invites a bunch of up-and-comers to guest. “Mr. Officer” with the 87 Stick Up Kids and Micah James takes a goofy look at getting arrested. James also adds vocals to “Tight Rope,” one of the album’s best cuts.

Baby Ca$htrid adds female perspective to “I’m Famous.” With additional appearances by Lady Tigra, Messinian, Naptron and Phoenix Orion, Maestro has a bit of a “sampler platter” feel, but Troublemaker’s unique keyboard work and production gives the effort cohesion.

Grade: B



Maestro is currently available.