Cut Chemist is the better-known half of Jurassic 5's production team with plenty of mixtapes behind him, but now it's Nu Mark's turn. Nowhere near as showy as anything the Chemist has done, Hands On is a great headphone album where the head bobs a little slower, digging the intimate groove. Nu Mark starts with a bit of dusty-groove funk and jazz before getting to some high-quality rap. The new and exclusive track from Nu Mark and his homeboy Chali 2na, "Chali 2na Comin' Thru," is the pick of the litter, and considering the high standards throughout, that's really sayin' somethin'. MF Doom's "Saliva" (recorded under his alias Viktor Vaughn) is a gem, Organized Konfusion's excellent "Fudge Funk" is dropped at just the right moment, and All Time High's "68 and I Owe You One" is a special sleazy kind of fun. Nu Mark also works in some tracks by non-English-speaking rappers, giving the mix some extra flavor, and the weird radio show about Persian trance music that pops up throughout the album is hilarious. Nu Mark has mentioned he was listening to a lot of instrumental-only mixtapes while compiling Hands On, and it shows. He messes the tracks up a bit with his DJ skills, but this is generally a mix to just groove to. Not the most jaw-dropping DJ record ever, but you can "feel" it the whole way.
Hands On Review
by David Jeffries