N IS FOR NIGHTMARES ON WAX

George does downtempo. Some brilliant home listening sounds for those smokey, hazy evenings from Nightmares on Wax.

The combined project of George Evelyn and Robin Taylor-Firth, Nightmares on Wax became one of the brightest spots on the post-rave British techno map of the early ’90s. NOW’s debut album, A Word of Science, was — along with early tracks by LFO, Tuff Little Unit, and Tricky Disco — a crucial bridge between the competing influences of New York house and electro, Detroit techno and soul, London rave and acid, and the burgeoning eclecticism of the years to come. Forming in the late ’80s in West Yorkshire as an extension of Evelyn and company’s b-boy crew the Soul City Rockers, NOW’s first singles, “Dextrous” and “Aftermath,” were both highly regarded, and the latter shot into the pop singles Top 40. The subsequent album laid a good deal of the groundwork for the downtempo experimental hip-hop/electro-funk worked over by Mike Paradinas, Luke Vibert, Spacer, and others, and earned the group a secure spot among techno’s select crew of next-step innovators.

The group nonetheless disbanded following Science’s release, with early contributor Kevin Harper leaving to pursue a DJ career and Evelyn turning out a smattering of house tracks on Warp’s Nucleus subsidiary before settling into bedroom woodshed mode. Following a four-year hiatus, Evelyn resurfaced with a track on the Mo’ Wax Headz compilation and, soon after, Smoker’s Delight, basically an instrumental hip-hop album with a distinctively British eclecticism. Still involved with the same sorts of genre-spanning sampler-and-sequencer experiments, Smoker’s Delight is also less obvious, suited more to repeat listenings than previous material. The same was also true for 1999’s Carboot Soul, Evelyn’s first album as part of a deal with American indie label Matador for domestic distribution. In 2000, NOW produced the first new material by De La Soul in several years, included on an EP (The Sound of N.O.W) featuring the rap pioneers. Following hot on its heels was a volume in the Studio !K7 mix series DJ Kicks. Two years later, Evelyn delivered his fourth LP, Mind Elevation. A longer gap preceded the release of his next proper LP for Warp, but In a Space Outta Sound finally appeared in March 2006 and Thought So… just over two years later. ~ Sean Cooper, All Music Guide

From Carboot Soul and Smokers Delight:
Nightmares on Wax – Nights Introlude
Nightmares on Wax – Rise
Nightmares on Wax – Ethnic Majority
Nightmares on Wax – Les Nuits

~ by acidted on October 15, 2009.

2 Responses to “N IS FOR NIGHTMARES ON WAX”

  1. […] #38, Nightmares on Wax (George Evelyn) – previously here – and his classic smokers tune Les Nuits. NoW started on Warp records in the early 90s. […]

  2. […] rather lost touch with Nightmares on Wax after his 90s downtempo heyday, with classics like Les Nuits. But he’s a new album N.O.W. Is […]

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