Various Nice One

With most major label product lacking individuality, indies have long made their names by representing a certain niche, be it a shared sound or attitude. Samplers like Nice One, from Toronto's multi- faceted nice+smooth label, provide the only easy, non-downloadable way of getting a taste of what a label is all about. After listening to the dozen tracks (all of which are previously available on myriad artist albums, compilations and twelve-inch singles), nice+smooth seems to be about class. They offer an older-skewing, dress-up vibe, from the ultra-deep jazzy house of DJ Shine and the muted beats of Teknostep to the squelchy breaks and down-tempo of Kinder Atom and the Latin drum & bass of Visionary ("Sola Bossa") and the German jungle of NME Click. The tracks tend to favour functionality over personality, but the quality level is high enough to help quash the perception that Canadian dance producers pale in comparison to our DJs. (Nice & Smooth)