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Paul Nice presents Journey to the Centre of the Beats


Review: Jack Foley

PAUL Nice is one of underground hip-hop's most respected producers, having worked with the likes of The Beastie Boys and Biz Markie, and it's easy to see why when listening to this mash-up compilation.

Journey to the Centre of the Beats is the sound of Nice flexing some serious mixing muscles, straddling every musical genre from funk, soul and classic rap, to jazz breaks and, of course, hip-hop.

What's more, he also brings in some exclusive tracks from the likes of Lord Finesse, Black Thought (from The Roots) and Talib Kweli, as well as some killer bootlegs from his extensive back catalogue.

The result is a compilation album to rate alongside the DJ Shadow/Cut Chemist collaboration, Brain Freeze, in terms of out-and-out enjoyment, while also putting the bland Summer compilations from the likes of Kiss FM firmly in their place.

If you want a party album, this delivers on the funk-front in spades; while it also stands out as a collection of timeless classics, with everyone from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five to the Wu-Tang Can getting a look in.

DJ Nice sounds as though he is having some serious fun delivering bootleg megamixes of Grandmaster Flash classics, before dropping some ultra-sexy soul ballads late on (complete with some moody beats).

And for those who still need convincing, then some of the tracks to savour include The Sugarhill Gang's Rappers' Delight, Grandmaster Flash's timeless White Lines, complete with Bugs Bunny intro (!), William Devaughn's smooth Be Thankful For What You Got, Debarge's All This Love and J-Live's Satisfied, to name but a few.

The name may be Nice, but the journey is downright excellent. Try taking it.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. El Gant Freestyle
3. Lord Finesse vs. Percy P - The Rematch
4. Masta Ace Freestyle
5. Talib Kweli, Jane Done & Black Thought - Bullshit (Paul Nice Remix)
6. The Real Live Show - Up Inj Our Spot (Paul Nice Remix)
7. Clipse - When The Last Time
8. J-Live - Satisfied/Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message
9. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message (Paul Nice's Super Duty Bootleg Mash Up)
10. Paul Nice Sugar Hill Remix
11. Biz Markie - Turn The Party Out (Paul Nice Remix)
12. William DeVaughn - Be Thankful For What You Got/Clipse - Grindin' Instrumental
13. De Barge - All This Love/Jeru The Damaja - Come Clean Instrumental
14. Jhelisa - Friendly Pressure
15. Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt.2
16. Wu Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M
17. Raekwon - Ice Cream
18. Paul Nice - Everyday

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