Warp Records celebrate the 25th birthday of their oldest and most loyal son Nightmares on Wax with the release of N.O.W. Is The Time, a two disc compilation of all the hits that George Evelyn a.k.a Nightmares on Wax has ever released.
It seems like the early 90’s were only yesterday – a time when the sounds of trip hop were alive and kicking in the UK. An era where the influences of House, Hip Hop, Acid Jazz and a new generation of electronic possibilities provided the perfect bed for UK artists to explore the sampling world, where old jazz and funk records could be manipulated to any which way you felt best expressed yourself. Heavily influenced by this environment, Evelyn and former member Kevin Harper created Nightmares on Wax and from that point Evelyn continued on to create a career and catalog spanning two and a half decades of ambient chill-out music to satisfy followers of the genre.
For fans of Nightmares on Wax it continues to please. You get every important song you listened to as you followed N.O.W.’s from it’s early beginnings. From those early years you get classics like Dextrous, Mega Donutz and Aftermath when his sound was heavily Techno and House influenced with a Hip Hop flavour. Then you run into a string of tracks that coat Nightmares on Wax with that funky chilled vibe that has made the artist a staple act in his genre; tracks like Les Nuit, Argha Noah, Da Feelin, and a whole lot more. 28 to be specific.
There is a fervent gospel fueled rendition of I Am You (Live in Chicago) which really sees the effectiveness of N.O.W. with a live band. The 4 bar loop builds and builds like a jam session when everyone is in sync with each other.
For those of us less familiar with N.O.W. it’s great music to relax and unwind to while lying on the beach or pondering your day in a high end bar or lounge. Despite the variety of sounds and samples that Evelyn has been able to seamlessly put within this collection, there is a slight ‘chill-out’ repetitiveness to the record to be able to listen to the album from start to end in a single sitting.
Like any good birthday we should celebrate the success of N.O.W. and what he has done in the last 25 years. We should also reflect upon the years, from its infancy to where it is N.O.W. (I had too). It is no small feat to continue writing and releasing albums while touring the world and remaining relevant. For the fan, its your time to join in on the celebration with a collection of your favorites and a few bonuses. The release is aimed more toward existing fans than those less familiar with the N.O.W catalogue.