Easy does it, chaps. You wouldn't want to break into anything extreme, like a sweat or something....

Easy does it, chaps. You wouldn’t want to break into anything extreme, like a sweat or something. You never know, it might compromise the ambience, or douse the deep bass rumble. For as reefer phatness goes, [a]Nightmares On Wax[/a] have been the dopest dealers in skunk-fuelled skeletal hip-hop for almost ten years. And it’s a past that they’ll milk until they get their just desserts, one suspects.

‘Carboot Soul’ is exactly what it says on the tin: a selection of loosely associated slow-burning jazz-hop artifacts that have seen better days (Bristol, circa ’95) and which only appear inviting once you step a little closer. So, having bypassed the tacky king-size roll-up gimmick and the hazy hippy temperament, the ‘vibe’ – as opposed to ‘album of memorable songs’ – kinda seeps through and whisks you away to their sunny-side up galaxy of downbeats and afterglows.

[a]Nightmares On Wax[/a] don’t attempt to conquer new lands or reinvent breakbeat but there’s enough crafted, mood-enhancing beauty to hoist it above the litany of post-trip-hop chancers. Like the gently loping carnival bravura of ‘Ethnic Majority’ or the lush panoramic soundscapery of ‘Capumcap’ – ditching any notion of dance innovation in favour of articulating the triumphs and trials of everyday street life.

It seems there’s life in the old skool yet. Even if it is a little on the still side.