Evil Ed has been producing high standard hip hop since 1990 and the beats he makes fit between the rough and the smooth, the old-skool hip hop sound and the current emergence of the form. They strike into the mainstream, with a clean and well engineered sound that possesses the raw and refined in equal measure.

Evil Ed formed the Hidden Identity imprint over the 90's, and his skills were in demand as he built a reputation that many sought. In 1999 dropping 'Firepower' ft Taskforce, Gunshot and Jehst, a tune that foreshadowed the arrival of the next generation.

With the advent of the new millennium came his early solo EP series "The Tournament 1 + 2" where we can hear the diversity of his beat making. They demonstrate a less-is-more tradition while still offering ounces of sound per track; specifically the bass bombs in 'Dangerous Situations' (reflected in  the colossal cut 'Junq Waffle'), the signature piercing snares in the title track and an unforgettable mood in 'Alien'.

Ed's produced for the YNR label at this time and saw tracks on the EPs of Jehst and Tommy Evans (not to forget the mystical work of Nemonc's enigmatic 'Voicemail' EP) that were monumental achievements alongside their equally prolific lyrics. His sound has underpinned the mood in a certain area of UK hip hop for more than a decade. He mixed and recorded the 'Slanguage' album for Universal Soldiers, helping to create a masterpiece of street level london life. In brief he is responsible for the sound behind many an underground classic, a producer reaching greatness.

It may at first listen seem that the his instrumentals are brilliantly simple, although the beats have subtle and well-executed variations. This carries them further toward classic, and away from the 'loop carried for 200 bars' that has at times dominated the approach of producers. His production techniques have put his work up there with the finest beats produced in the UK.

His debut album "The Enthusiast" offers a host of rappers with real pedigree entirely backed by Edstrumentals, soon to be followed up with "The Enthusiast vol. 2". Evil Ed's beats have developed into a smooth, jazzy, inimitable style, that can be heard on his "Edstrumentals" album, 2nd volume also soon due to drop.

Away from production, Evil Ed is a dedicated DJ, dropping numerous mix-tapes and radio shows. In 2005 he put out a genius live album on CD with K-Delight, comparable to Liam Howlett's Dirtchamber Session mix on Radio 1's Breeze Block Show.

Reviewed by J-Bodes

Go buy some Evil Ed to boost your collection!


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