Sunday 13 June 2010

Hometown Hijinks

My hometown, a quaint little city in the Midwest of England known as Leeds. Nothing special really aside from being a coal mining hub in the past. I'm trying to produce my own work, and let's just say Leeds isn't the Electro center of the UK. However, Leeds has more than just some old industrial relics and Victorian architecture, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Nightmares On Wax

George Evelyn, or Nightmares On Wax, a DJ from a hip-hop background (think DJ Mehdi, but English) was one of the first releases on the now legendary Warp Records, however I'm not here to bore you with backstory. instead I'll let the music do the talkin' and focus on not one, but two of my favourite albums from him I recently dragged out again. any time I've played it, either as backing music or just for social listening, by the end, EVERYONE has their groove on and it's seen me through some tough times what with these final exams and whatnot, it's nice to just take it eeaaaassy for a while. they're among my favourite albums ever, so enjoy, kick back and feel the funk

Now, I love me some bangin' electro or wobbly dubstep, but Nightmares creates those chill, dub-flavoured tracks that DEMAND you listen to them. Not the Royksopp kind of chilled either, something much more, more like the kind that has so much funk you just have to getchya groove on. And what better track to back up this point with than this?

the opener from his charmingly named album Smokers Delight from 1995 (which has amazing artwork, see above),and despite the album's title, you don't need any substances to enjoy this fusion of Hip-Hop and Jamaican style Dub (with bonus Quincy Jones sample) that sets up perfectly the musical journey that lies ahead. Speaking of which...

(feel the funk about 56 seconds in!) Starts with a sample, but that soon gives way to heavy beats, and follows it all up with those groovy synths. as with many of the tracks on Smokers Delight, it sounds boring if you don't have a sub or headphones. normal speakers just don't pick up the subtle-yet-heavy basslines that are a trademark of N.O.W

the final of my selections from SD is Stars, which combines all elements from previous tracks into one, featuring excellent sample work, subtle basslines and even some Bongos, this is the soul of the entire album condensed into a seven minute chunk

and now, some tracks from the follow up, Carboot Soul. The album shows off how his style has evolved in the 4 years since Smokers Delight, it's quite different compared to the Hip Hop rooted SD, featuring more Bass Guitars, real drums and even full vocals on some tracks, but it still retains that trademark Nightmares Funk.

Morse was one of the first N.O.W tracks I ever heard, and I instantly loved it, it's a major highlight of the album. it also shows off the change in style, with plenty of guitars and a heavenly vocal sample. again, listen till about 1:45 when the groove hits, trust me :D

The vocal tracks are also a high point, featuring underground soul singer Sarah Winton, the collaboration is a match made in heaven. the backing for these tracks is simple and doesn't have the groove of Morse but that's not a problem due to Ms. Wintons great vocal work

and to top it all off, one final guitar heavy track, Fire In The Middle, It's in a similar vein to Morse, but slower paced. it almost never gets old, and if it comes up on shuffle I have to listen to it :). Definitely one for you people stressed out from a hard days work, or just laying back and chilling out

And with that final slice of homebrew for you (can you brew sound?) I'm signing off, let me know what ya think in the comments as usual.

Sunday is the day of rest, after all :)
-Claude Van Foxbat


Wildman said...

This post is serious win.

I've listened to all of N.O.W's first album (Smokers Delight)
You should have included "Pipes Honour" in this post too. But that can come another time I'm sure.

Carboot soul I have got, but haven't got around to listening to. After listening to "Morse" I'm going to now.


Gymtonic said...

I love Leeds, an amazing place with amazing music haha. Doesn't Ghosts Of Venice hail from Leeds to?

Claude Van Foxbat said...

@Gymtonic, Indeed he does. but Nightmares comes first when I think of artists from leeds :D, and along with Nite's post, I felt it was the right time to inject ilictronix with more chill :P

Champiness said...

Chill is good. Even a bad chillout song can be enjoyable sometimes, and this is some quality chillout right here.

RastaBlasta94 said...

Pretty sweet,
Got some good music to just sit back and kick it to in there :P

Anonymous said...

Can't believe you did a post on Leeds without mentioning Miguel Campbell, Matt Hughes, Ghosts Of Venice, Rusko

Claude Van Foxbat said...

@Anon. The post isn't about Leeds, the opening paragraph is, but the post is about nightmares on wax.
stuff like Rusko would not fit in with the chilled theme (however I posted about him in my intro post) but I will be doing Dubstep posts in the future so stay tuned Anon :D

Nite said...

Nice post!!! Cant wait to hear more from you!

Jimbo Dean said...

Siiiiiick. Post some more.

Jbob said...

Nice post Brad, however i wouldnt call Leeds quaint lol, anyway yea Wax does some good chilla songs and the artwork is awsome, also i still dont think ben has got the idea of not psting retarded comments, lol.

Ghosts Of Venice said...

hahaha I can't believe you said "Im trying to produce so Leeds isn't ideal". Leeds is a haven for new DJs and artists, its like living in London only less competition for the new blood. It's a massive hub of good music and has one of the fastest growing scenes in the UK. You're lucky to be part of it, trust.

Claude Van Foxbat said...

@GoV, for electro tho? I mean, Town has some decent electro nights with Wax:On (coincidentally owned by Nightmares On Wax :P ) but there doesn't seem to be much stuff in the vein of the Beetroots & Justice. most kids in town are bloody indie kids who think dubstep is a new genre (from what I've seen, anyway)
I'm trying to actually produce anyway, so keep an eye out for me GoV :) FL is hard, and i wanna learn it before moving on to abelton

Claude Van Foxbat said...

didn't mean to sound like a knob there Ghosts :P

Ghosts Of Venice said...

no no, it was fine, sorry if my post came across as twattish, I wrote it in a rush <3 you'll find that a lot of cities these days don't grasp electro at the present, manchester loves the hard stuff. Wax:On crowd love it though, you'd be suprised.

Anonymous said...


Just kidding.

Great post ;)