Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Nightmares on Wax - Thought So... (Warp 2008)

'Thought So..' is the sixth studio album by George Evelyn aka Nightmares On Wax. Best known for his 1995 'chill out' classic 'Smokers Delight', Evelyn has been producing his own unique blend of dub, soul, jazz, hip hop and funk ever since.Recorded while on a roadtrip from his hometown of Leeds to Ibiza, it carries the the warmness of the journey and also features live band members and an array of guest vocalists such as Ricky Ranking and Chyna Brown.

It's business as usual for the pioneer of head-nodding blunted music. 'Smoker's Delight' was good pliff music, 'Mind Elevation' contained one of my favourite ever songs (70s 80s) and now they're back. It's a shame that they now sound like a lo-fi version of themselves on 'Thought So...' We're firmly in the world of trippy, laid back grooves. Ricky Ranking comes best on the tracks and the darker synthier soundscapes create an ominous mood. However, it's a shame that this isn't any real addition to the Nightmares on Wax canon. It's easier to just listen to 'Smoker's Delight' and recall past triumphs and student haze.

The drums still fizzle and the basslines still rumble. The expanded hints of folktronica and Balearic dance show a possible new direction. There is definitely a roadtrip-esque narrative at play as the songs move forward towards their conclusion. Despite all these things, it's a shame that after pioneering a movement, Nightmares on Wax sound like a diet version of themselves.

Nightmares On Waxspace

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