Spring 2006 will usher in the long awaited album by one of Warp's most popular acts, Nightmares On Wax. Entitled In A Space Outta Sound, this fifth album continues as part of George Evelyn's personal legacy to bring forth his successful formula of positivity, sunshine and medicinal soul in music.
Click here to listen to 3 tracks taken from the new Album In A Space Outta Sound
Many hold him responsible for raising the standard of living room auditory needs when Smoker's Delight hit the deck. An archetype 90's stoner/ downtime album, it enlivened the ears of a whole generation of clubbers, loungers and beyond. His next deliverance in '99, the sublime languid exaltation that was Carboot Soul solidified Nightmares' reputation as the patriarch of this now popular genre. Zeitgeists of this era, these albums still continue as solid back catalogue sellers.
It is evident in listening to In A Space Outta Sound that Nightmares on Wax has travelled far. A contemporary and varied album of many textures, tempos and tones, it is embedded with harmonic inflections from cultures far beyond these shores. Whilst this is an album deconstructing George's musical make up, by inviting you down a personal retrospective journey, In A Space… also unwittingly reflects the urban multi-cultural landscape we live in today. The same racially heterogeneous sounds can be heard whilst treading the streets of London, or Leeds where he is from, or any other big city in Britain.
A sonic palette taken from each continent, each track presents a facet whether it be the infectious repetitive African percussion sounds of African Pirates, the recurring Caribbean reggae riddims as heard in Sweetest and Flip Ya Lid, the seduction of the Persian snake charmer's harpsichord entwined around Damn!, or Mo-town's soul-laid-bare in I Am You. Sometimes it is a blend of all of the above.
Once again, the Nightmares seal is evident; rhythms infectious in their simplicity, blues infused time signatures overlaid by Quincy Jones-esque synth lines and the inherent fusion of relaxed dub and Balearic melodies. Of course, the other factor in George's formula is the intangible touch of glowing warmth that infects his music. As the Times newspaper once commented, "George Evelyn is one of those people who can bottle sunshine".
A nod to the musical forefathers he so admires, on In A Space…. an amalgamation of lifelong influences are deftly woven together to form a rich collage. Influences ranging from the indignant funk of Curtis Mayfield, smooth melody lines of Quincy Jones, sweet, cloying lullabies of Sarah Vaughn and Duke Ellington's lively compositions which were all played in the Evelyn household. Featured are the Soca / Calypso from local dancehalls, music that is part of George's genealogy. We hear George's self-discovered evangelism to early hip-hop filtering through from his years as a b-boy, also his allegiance to funk / soul where the voices of the OJ's, Isley Brothers and James Brown were part of the staple diet. The ghostly whispers of local sound systems of yore, the heavy, reverberating dub breaks reminiscent of heroes, King Tubby and Scientist (who he had the pleasure of collaborating with), forge the Nightmares Sound.
This nod to his past is partly the reasoning behind the use of local talent; percussionists such as Issac Haywood and Double D; his faithful right hand man, the classically trained pianist Robin Taylor-Firth; the astounding range of vocalists - the nightingale call of Chyna B, Sara Garvey and Moses, whose rich, incandescent tones are those which have soothed through fellow protagonists, Zero 7. Even the cover shot harks back to days past, using the location of the local community hall, a place holding many memories.
On the live side, George will use this opportunity to fulfil a long held dream by touring with a local sound system, the Irration Steppas. (More details of dates to come).
The title, In A Space Outta Sound ties in with his guiding light, this musical path which he constantly revisits. Development and evolution is the prime motivation of Nightmares on Wax: "Today's music is inspired by what's gone on before and that is what fascinates me. Following on in that tradition I am inspired by the old and want to evolve it into something new. I see it as a never ending cycle and that is where I want to be."
In A Space Outta Sound is soul food for the senses and an accomplishment his forefathers would be proud of.
Play the NoW Soundsytem game.
UK Tour with Iration Steppas Soundsystem
25th March - Leeds
Leeds Metropolitan University
29th March - Brighton
30th March - London
London Electric Ballroom
5th April - Norwich
6th April - Nottingham
7th April - Newcastle (Gateshead)
Sage Gateshead 2
8th April - Glasgow
Official Site -
He also slapped a jet-lagged Taylor Hawkins.
The acclaimed performer had just cancelled touring due to a battle with cancer.