DJ Andy Smith/Various The Document II

Throw on this follow-up to the impressive successor expecting to hear a bumping hip-hop beat right off the bat and you’re surprisingly greeted by the soft cries of Kate Bush pouring her heart out. Don’t fret though, for soon Kate is now flowing over Craig G’s neck-snapping “Welcome to the Game” instrumental and you realise you’ve been given a small dose of what makes Portishead’s Andy Smith a valuable commodity. The first mix, released way back in 1998, was a nice blend of hip-hop, funk and classic rock, which made many take notice for The Document kept you on your toes as Smith made Jeru the Damaja and Tom Jones seem like they were meant for each other. This second stab at a continuous mix succeeds in topping the original, possibly because it’s been a five-year gap and Smith has strengthened his skills under the great expectations that surely plagued him when following up what some deem a classic mix. The Document II is much heavier on the hip-hop and funk side which makes for a more enjoyable mix for listeners that weren’t really feeling the classic rock aspects of the first mix. Blending classic tunes from Black Sheep, Ultramagnetic MCs and Eric B & Rakim with the smooth soulful sounds of the Quantic Soul Orchestra, James Brown and Sugarman 3 simply can’t fail, especially when it’s done as well as this. With no new Portishead record on the radar, it’s nice to see that Andy Smith has been keeping himself busy with something that might give him more name recognition in the DJ community than manning the decks for the missing-in-action trip-hop collective. (Illicit)