DJ Nana The World Inside My Head Vol. 3

One of the keys to crafting a predominantly instrumental hip-hop record worth repeated listens has always rested in the producer’s knack for raising beats to the level of dynamic, evolving compositions. Lose sight of this and all you’ve got is a beat tape. On the third instalment of his The World Inside My Head series, Toronto’s DJ Nana has made great strides to reach that goal, testing out a wealth of gritty, genre-splicing ideas, ranging from folky seaside piano ditties and spotty ragga jungle touches to esoteric spoken word cuts where the beat drops out almost entirely. Nana gets ambitious with the anomalous nine-minute drum & bass turn "Eighties Baby, Stay Fly!,” with grim minor string chords and falling laser bombs marking the standout track. Other tunes, however, don’t fare as well, like the rather static "34label” and "NaNa Goes KestWest,” which (as in more than a few cases on the record) fail to develop into much and feel in need of a few hot sixteens. (Urbnet)