Thursday 10 February 2011

A Very Warped History 7: 1999

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When Nightmares On Wax dropped Smokers Delight in 1995, Trip Hop was going from strength to strength with records like Massive Attack's Protection, Tricky's debut Maxinquaye and Portishead's Dummy leading the way. It wasn't to last however; fast forward to the edge of the new millennium, Trip Hop is slowly fading away in favour of Drum 'N Bass and Jungle. But George Evelyn, or Nightmares On Wax, remained undeterred and brought us Carboot Soul which moves away from the ganja infused vibes of it's predecessor and instead brings more instrumentation and even a couple of tracks with vocals, courtesy of obscure soul singer Sarah Winton.

Onto the tracks, if there's one thing N.O.W does well it's intros, and Carboot is no different. Les Nuits sets the pace for the album perfectly, at the same time highlighting the progression in N.O.W's sound in both title (Smokers intro was Nights Introlude) and the actual composition itself. Have a listen, it's worth it.

A song I posted before, Morse is simply too good to pass up. After the brilliant intro you are treated to another 6 minute slice of awesome that just gets better after every breakdown as more stuff is added to the mix. also features one of my favourite basslines ever at the beginning.

N.O.W said that most of the music on Carboot soul is inspired by tunes he grew up with, namely Soul. And it's probably most prominent on this track. Incredibly funky with some obscure samples, all driven home by that great beat.

This next one plays a bit like Morse, featuring another one of my favourite basslines from the album, but it's much shorter at just 2 and a half minutes. Not much happens in it compared to some of the previous tracks, but Nightmares' production is so solid you probably won't care.

A bit of a wildcard compared to what came before and longest track on the album; Argha Noah is all about the documentary samples and low frequencies until about 1:50 when some sparse piano keys are introduced, many things come and go from the mix after this, things like organs and guitars popping up from time to time. Very hypnotic, with just enough variation to keep it fresh throughout.

The second song featuring full vocals, Survival is a slow moving R&B-esque number. Like Finer, the other track with full vocals, Nightmares' production takes a backseat as the focus shifts onto the Winton's voice and lyrics. That's not to say the backing track isn't good though.

Carboot's closing track shares similarities with Les Nuits, but with heavier beats and being generally more upbeat (well, as upbeat as chillout can be I suppose). And so the album ends the same way it began, albeit in reverse as the stings slowly fade out instead of in.

Just one more release to go before we hit the big 2K, though it's not big enough to warrant it's own part, so look forward to Warped 7.5 coming sometime soon! there's plenty to look forward to in the 2000's, including Squarepusher, Broadcast and even more from Boards Of Canada.

...And Spring Would Be A Beautiful Time In Egypt,
-Claude Van Foxbat

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