Evelyn, aka DJ Ease, the producer behind Nightmares on Wax
has produced an incredible mix for Studio K7ís DJ Kicks
Series. The series, now with 17 releases under its
belt, has to be one of the most creative mix series out there.
So many labels shoot for the cash by releasing predictable
"DJ" mix-albums but Studio K7 gives the DJ artistic control
of the project, leaving them to reflect their tastes and influences
on each release. Georgeís albums like the acclaimed Smokerís
Delight and the more recent Carboot Soul are loaded
with breaks, bass, and a weed-drenched aesthetic, offering
a down-tempo sound that encompasses a diverse number of musical
influences from hip hop and dub to soul and electro. This
mix puts DJ Ease behind the tables to show off some of the
many tracks that have inspired him, and I found his offering
more than generous with its 23 tracks of hip-hop, down-beat,
and mellowed out funk that are flawlessly mixed together for
a mandatory listen.
starts the mix with Typeís "Slow Process," a gritty flanged
out track that runs thick and saucy on the 808-kick drum.
It makes for a strong opener and doesnít waste any time at
grabbing your attention. After letting loose a fluid instrumental
track with a nice break down by Only Child, Saukrates comes
strong on their destined hip hop classic "Ay, Ay Studder"
in which they stutter out their rhymes over tight rim shots.
This track is addictive as hell and I thought it fused beautifully
with DJ Paul Niceís track "Break it Down," a funky and minimal
piece with a synth-bass line that sounds like a jacked up
bug chirp with the pitch dropped. Less is so much more when
the minimal approach is done right. Grand Unified and their
"Shake Up" leads into his own "Ease Jimi." A tune reminiscent
of some classic funk 45ís, it has a 70ís soul feel with moving
horn sections and catchy guitar hooks. He then drops a punching
jump-up styled break track by Jerry Beeks and moves into D.I.T.C.
Ďs "Thick," a hip hop song produced by no other than DJ Premier
of Gang Starr, featuring various M.C.ís and the flow of New
Yorkís late Big L.
addition to "Ease Jimi," the album features some of his collaborations
as Nightmares On Wax. Tunes like "Burn Me Solo" with lyricist
O.C, who is also on the D.I.T.C. song. The next song is the
Nightmares On Wax collaboration with Corrina Joseph. It is
surprisingly the only song on the entire album that I thought
dragged a little but was by no means terrible, I just thought
it could of worked better towards the end of the album. He
quickly turns around the situation and makes a quick save
with the Kenny Dopeís classic "Get On Down." If you donít
know this one by name, you will when the hairs are standing
up on the back of your neck in excitement. The vibe is continued
with the raga-vocal sample on another Kenny Dope song "SuperKat,"
a sample of Super Cat himself perhaps?
want to have a moment of silence for A Tribe Called Quest;
their song "Award Tour" reminds me of all the reasons why
I loved hip-hop in the first place. Too bad they are finished.
This was a top-notch selection and shows why they were such
an influence on so many artists. DJ Ease then leads us into
some jazzy breaks courtesy of John Cameron on his track "Swamp
Fever" following up with "Alphabet Aerobics," another hip
hop masterpiece by Blackalicious in which they rhyme their
verse in the order of the alphabet. This track is required
listening if you havenít heard it already. "This Place" by
DJ Trax is a mellow, drum heavy tune with some jazzy vibes
and Hammond organ lines to compliment the tight snares of
the drum track. "Itís a Latin Thing" by Freddie Fresh sounds
exactly like you think it would. The song could easily fit
into a Kruder and Dorfmeister set with its Latin percussion,
tasty filters and steel drums. Underground Crownholders and
their track "Aim" as well as "Sand Steppin" by Martin Brew
are both top-notch instrumental hip hop tracks with scratching,
thick snare rolls and climactic horn lines straight from a
comic book action scene. One of the most interesting tracks
on the mix is "Overooped" by Smokers Blend. This track has
a dark atmosphere with choir samples and a wicked melody that
sounds like it was created with a dulcimer. The mood lightens
up quite a bit with "Pick Me Up" by Deadbeats. This song starts
the wind down of the mix with a wobbly disco bass line and
sub-bass reminiscent of early Meat Beat Manifesto tracks.
DJ Easeís final selection is "Chocolate" by Syrup. This tune
carries out the party vibe started by the Deadbeats but choosing
a more classic funk sound. This one could easily be the theme
from your favorite 70ís television show and marks the end
of an essential listen for all down-tempo fans.
Ay Studder"- Saukrates
It Down"-DJ Paul Nice
Up (Jaddle Remix)"-Grand Unified
Jimi"-Nightmares On Wax
$"- Jerry Beeks
Me Slow"-Nightmares On Wax feat. O.C.
On"- Nightmares On Wax feat. Corrina
On Down"-Joseph Kenny Dope
Tour"-A Tribe Called Quest
A Latin Thing"-Freddy Fresh