Mastermind Ass: Obscene Underground Volume 2

A follow-up to the first compilation presided over by drum & bass DJ Freaky Flow, Ass is stacked with raw hip-hop tracks tailored for rotation in the walkman while pounding the cement. Although it is very light on turntable dynamics, the Mastermind's shrewd selections should broaden the reach of these top-notch tracks beyond the reach of vinyl hounds. Although stateside underground fare is well represented by acts like D.I.T.C. and Dilated Peoples, it's the flavour of native tongues that catch the attention. Nefarius's searing missive "Pondering" verifies MC Kwesro, who tragically died in his sleep last year, was one of Toronto's promising MCs. Brassmunk and Arcee pad their growing credentials with the addictive "One, 2" and the nimble "The Exquisite" respectively. Even rugged Detroit MC Obie Trice looks north, commissioning spliced chorus scratches for his banger "The Well Known A-hole" from Turnstylez DJ Lil' Jaz. (Stickman)