Nightmares On Wax DJ Kicks

After the unearthing of the MIA Stereo MCs for the last compilation, fellow UK DJ Ease, the man behind the chilled-out beats of Nightmares On Wax, is the latest in the ever-growing list of artists to present a DJ Kicks set. While each artist whose appeared in this series has always snuck a couple of tracks of their own material into the mix, it's the other selections, giving some insight into what creatively inspires the artist, that are most interesting. In the case of DJ Ease, extended drum-heavy instrumental tracks predominate, whether they originate from MAW maestro Kenny Dope or from the Grand Central crew, who like Ease are based in the North of England. Impeccably mixed, Ease intermittently wisely throws the occasional change-up with the vocally enhanced tracks. His own "Play On," featuring the scatty vocals of Corrina Joseph, is a subtly and tastefully manipulated mid-set nugget. DJ Ease's discerning taste in hip-hop means that the selections are either classic or feature unique microphone techniques. Toronto MC Saukrates's inventive "Ay, Ay Studder" holds its own included next to Blackalicious's infamous "Alphabet Aerobics" and A Tribe Called Quest's "Award Tour." The latter is an obvious favourite of DJ Ease, as he plays the track in its entirety, constantly inserting and removing the bass. Choice slivers of breaks and rare grooves are also interwoven into the mix of another satisfying DJ Kicks set. (!K7)