NIGHTMARES ON WAX
City Series Mix Volume 26 (Halloween Edition)
Nightmares on Wax is an institution, albeit a delightfully different one. The man behind the moniker, George Evelyn, just keeps reinventing, not in a wilful Bowie way, but flowing along, going at whatever speed he fancies to wherever his ideas carry him.
Raised in Leeds’ inner-city (Hyde Park, Burley), the son of a bingo hall accountant mum and engineer dad, a childhood friend’s older brother was don of the local Messiah sound system. George embraced dub and reggae from nine years old. The first artist he became a fan of was dub remixer Scientist. Picking up his father’s appreciation of everything from Duke Ellington to Isaac Hayes to Shalamar, he also built his own home system from shoeboxes and discarded speaker units purloined from a nearby television factory, all attached to a Fidelity record player.
For the last seven years George has lived in an Ibizan farmhouse. As Warp Records’ longest serving artist, “the granddaddy,” as he puts it – he overwhelmingly focuses on his current projects, letting them revitalize his music.
Best known for his ground-breaking ‘90s albums - ‘Smokers Delight’ and ‘Carboot Soul’, Evelyn’s pride and joy these days is his four year old underground party on the white island. Wax the Jam at Las Dalias, Ibiza’s oldest nightclub, 50 this summer, has become a go-to haunt for locals, promoters and insiders, the place where George explains, “Everyone turns up as individuals but everybody leaves as one.” Here he soundtracks a night of groove, experimentation, percussion and improvisation, alongside guests such as DJ Shadow and Roots Manuva. It’s all about ‘Feelin’ Good’, hence the name of his new album.
“I come from the city but sunshine is in my music,” he explains, “It was always a natural dream to make music in the sun like I do now. Not to take away from any of my previous music but ‘Feelin’ Good’ is what I’ve always been trying to do. For instance, on ‘Give Thx’ I wanted the message to be a universal thank you for everything. I wanted to get it across in a way that was happy but wasn’t preachy, wasn’t cheesy. I had to manifest it, to genuinely mean it with energy. That’s how I went through the process of making the whole album, really feeling it.”
There are the ten tracks of ‘Feelin’ Good’, the same number as ‘Carboot Soul’, a good omen according to George, a man positively overflowing with good omens. “The album initially had many possible names,” he ventures, “But I got on the mic at Wax the Jam and talked about how music shifted the energy to make people feel good. It’s everbody’s sovereign right to feel good, so I want the album to remind people of that, a soundscape to feeling good, that’s my aim.” Setting his sights high as ever with a cheery, unpretentious sincerity, George Evelyn continues to carry the original flame of acid house and late ‘80s Balearica, pushing it alive’n’kicking into 2013. His new album will surprise many, as bubbly, warm and lively a thing as will be heard all year. Nightmares on Wax are back. Then again, like the underground itself, they never really went away.
If you could collaborate musically with anyone of your choice, who would you choose?
What is your favorite venue you've ever performed at?
Big Chill Festival
What DJ gear and travel essentials do you always carry with you on the road?
Sennheiser HD 25 headphones, Serato box