Friday, December 26, 2008

No Sleeping In Nick Wiz's Cellar

Nick Wiz has long been an underrated, east coast producer, but true to their name, No Sleep Records isn't sleeping on this man's talents. They've just a 42-song (not including two "Intro" skits), double CD set of rare and unreleased songs from the 90's, entitled Cellar Sounds volume one 1992-1998.

The nice thing here is the vast majority of these tracks fall under the "unreleased" rather than the "rare" category. The previously released joints are some Pudgee white label tracks, one of the Rakim remixes from his recent, limited The Cellar EP (also on No Sleep), three or four tracks from the very rare Lyricist Lounge/ Echo Underground Airplay tapes and (kind of an odd, not-so-rare choice) Main One's "Main Event" single. I'd say ten or under are previously released, which gives you about 35 completely unreleased gems on this compilation.

So, what's on this compilation? Unreleased joints by Nick Wiz's regulars like The Cella Dwellas (two tracks left off of their second album, plus an unreleased remix of "Good Dwellas") Shabaam Sahdeeq/Shadows In the Dark, Milkbone (yeah, I was a little surprised by that, too - apparently Wiz worked on his Milkcrate album), Ran Reed, Chino XL, and a whole bunch of production and remixes he did for other artists. There's a joint from Pudgee's unreleased King of New York album (not counting the white label stuff that's on here, too) and a remix of "On the Regular." There's a short but hot Chubb Rock track, an unused remix of Red Hot Lover Tone's "4 My Peeps" posse cut, another Rakim remix, a Channel Live track, a song that was left off of Darc Mind's LOUD/Anticon album and a surpriingly fresh Lady Luck track. There's also a bunch of demos and stuff he cut with several underground New Jersey artists (LSD, Mister Fit, Ill Mentatlity, Nautilus, Emskee and Tross). It's hard to pick a favorite when there's so many tracks to absorb here; but a pre-Flipmode joint by Lord Have Mercy is a clear stand-out for me.

The price is right ($13 for the double CD set), and it has some great liner notes. Nick Wiz writes a brief explanation/history for all 42 tracks! Example: "Shabaam Sahdeeq feat. Baybe - 'Sexy' - 1994 - While we were working on Shabaam's demo, Guru from Gang Starr brought Baybe down to the studio to work on her project. She jumped on the hook for this song, and actually she also sang the hook for The Cella Dwellas' single 'Perfect Match'." This is a must-have for those who've come to appreciate Nick Wiz's production and the artists he's worked with. You can order it direct from his or No Sleep's myspaces. Oh, and one of the nicest things about this release? The Volume One in the title implies a second volume in the future. :-D

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible release at an affordable price. 13 beans for a 2 disc gem? You bet I purchased that a few moments after I found out it was on sale. These limited vinyl releases are out of my price range. If I had all the money in the world I'd cop every single one of em, but reality is a hard thing to swallow. I respect Ed Catto/DWG/One Leg Up/etc's grind though. For now, I'll bump most of these on mp3 format cause I have to. I hope that doesn't make me less hip-hop or anything. (sarcasm)