Nightmares On Wax – Late Night Tales

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Following the success of the ANOTHER LATE NIGHT SERIES series, where the likes of Groove Armada, Zero 7, Howie B and Rae & Christian delivered their recommendations of tracks to see out those nocturnal comedowns in continuous mix form, it’s now the turn of Nightmares On Wax, AKA George Evelyn, to chill out his public while demonstrating his impeccable musical credentials.

The series has now been renamed LATE NIGHT TALES because each release ends with one of four parts of THE WHITE CITY, a spoken word story written by Whitbread Prize winner Patrick Neate and read by Brian Blessed, this being the first.

Musically, you should know what to expect: it veers from jazzy trip-hop through rootsy funk and ambient passages, with the likes of Ian Brown, Mad Doctor X and the daddy of them all, Quincy Jones, on hand with the building blocks for the beats. Even Dusty Springfield appears with her cover of the Classic IV’s SPOOKY.

The only snag is, almost by definition, a mix album of inoffensive retro-hip-hop is going to sound a bit nondescript, with the only couple of standout tracks being The Rootsman’s SHOW ME SOME LOVE and Tom Scott’s seminal SNEAKIN’ IN THE BACK.

Even Nightmares On Wax’s previously unreleased cover of Cymande’s BROTHERS ON THE SLIDE is stiflingly uneventful, while at just over two minutes, Damon Albarn hardly gets a look in on Tony Allen’s EVERY SEASON.

Still, it perfectly fulfils is purpose as a soundtrack to the late night blues, and the spoken word story, while an obvious exercise in unit-shifting, is a nice idea.

3 stars