Ask someone what the best album of all time is, and you’re bound to get into a heated debate. The question alone is too open ended, what makes a good album? Originality? Complexity? Album sales? Lyrics? Vocals? Production/Engineering? Popular appeal? Cultural significance? The list could go on and on. Even if you try to quantify these criteria, personal taste will always interfere.
I try not to worry about all the questions and focus on one criteria: listen-ability. How many songs in the album do I skip? If the skip-to-listen ratio is low, then it’s a good album. So an album of all 8’s is better than half 10’s, half 4’s. (Sorry, I can’t resist – if I really HAVE to choose, it’s hard to argue with Thriller).
Anyway, getting to the point – based on my criteria above some of my favorite albums have come from Nightmares on Wax. NoW has created some of the most listenable albums ever (in particular: Carboot Soul, Mind Elevation, In a Space Outta Sound, Thought So…) and has a knack for taking a simple/sweet hook and keeping it relevant for 6 minutes (see Morse).
Chill (Nightmares on Wax) is my first (and still favorite) Pandora station. With plenty of sampling and acoustic/organic beats, the station combines styles of downtempo, hiphop, turntablism, triphop, electronic, (and some sexy-smoothness) into a genre I simply call Chill. Typical artists include Nightmares on Wax, Wax Tailor, DJ shadow, RJD2, and Lemon Jelly. The station will branch out from time to time with artists like Royksopp and Gotan Project, but usually stays true to it’s roots. I find the station very relaxing/comforting and will jam it in almost any circumstance, from a get together to sleeping. Simply – the station imparts without interfering.
NOTE: You won’t see a whole lot of thumbed up NoW tracks because I’ll only try to thumbs up/down to help solidify the station’s theme and keep Pandora from taking it where it doesn’t need to go.