Various Metro Breaks NXT Level

NXT Level is quite a bit different than the usual Nice and Smooth session. The NXT Level is about beats, rollers and a sort of dark soul type of drum & bass. Mixed expertly by Toronto's DJ Freedom, this is the next step in the Nice and Smooth releases. "If I Had A Dollar" spats about an acid-y bass line and the drum sample is off time just by a bit, making you listen just a bit harder to appreciate the tune. "Expand" is a weird conflict of a hard biting bass line and jazzy horn and organ riffs that I like a lot. "Hand Over Fist" is a track full of deadly rollers; it's almost like German drum and bass producer Panacea's work. The Green Man remix of "Illegal" is a smooth tune, mixed with low down funk and smooth bass lines. The album has its share of dark tunes, but there's always a bit of jazz influence, such as Soothsayer's "Liquid Bass." The artists on the NXT Level are definitely maturing with every release. The production is definitely tighter than on past Metro breaks releases and more original. In the fast forward world of drum & bass, where a novel sound is the difference between musical obscurity and popularity, it's a pleasure to listen to this album. (Nice & Smooth)