It is no exaggeration to say that Nightmares on Wax’s work is synonymous with a place in time. It is a place individual to those who have savoured his popular b...rand of sun-drenched dubbed out soul, where fragments of hazy memories, halcyon days and past snapshots encapsulate a generation’s sofa sojourning.
For George Eveyln, the man behind Nightmares on Wax, did indeed create some defining moments in the 90’s. Firstly there was his involvement in writing two of the U.K.’s early rave classics Dexterous and Aftermath (with then writing partner Kevin Harper from the Nightmares A Word of Science album). George then went alone and in ’95 bought us Smoker’s Delight, a downbeat opus and the archetype 90’s stoner album (not surprisingly, he was a one time high judge of the Cannibus Cup in Amsterdam). The effect of Smokers Delight was palpable as it is considered one of the main catalysts in the explosion of the chill out / down tempo genre today. Following Smokers, in 1999, Carboot Soul was delivered. A sublime languid success, it solidified George’s reputation as the patriarch of this very popular genre. Regardless of the connotations now associated with chill out / ambient / down tempo, both Smokers and Carboot remain untainted zeitgeists, still viewed as soundscapes of good times past, music that a cross section of people enjoyed, often whilst languishing post clubbing. Zeitgeists of an era, these albums have sold over 150,000 copies and continue to, ten years and six years respectively after release.
Like many fortunate music enthusiasts, his love of music was passed down from his parents. The Evelyn household was one often enveloped in the indignant funk of Curtis Mayfield and the smooth melody lines of Quincy Jones (where George’s devotion began). The sweet, cloying lullabies of Sarah Vaughn were as often heard coming out of Mr. Evelyn’s precious mahogany 78 players as Duke Ellington’s lively compositions. Having come over from the West Indies as a young man, George’s father also passed on to his children musical legacies of his birthplace, frequently playing staple classics of Soca, or Calypso as it’s now called, found too at the local dancehall he frequented.
George’s success is enduring, and he has often been praised for his polished production work. Indeed with a state of the art studio, no one can fault the craft he has been honing for fifteen years. The subtle complexities and layers to his music is also what makes it so accessible. However this is certainly not the sole result of one man and a mixing desk. He works with a varied group of local musicians; a range of percussionists, classically trained keyboardists, guitarists etc., and evidence of this was found on his last tour to promote Mind Elevation, doing a string of dates with a thirteen piece band. Live musicianship is also quite apparent on In A Space.... where much of the ideas came from impromptu studio ‘jams’.
Producing the genuine article and constantly evolving and progressing is the prime motivation behind Nightmares’ music. It is about taking the sounds of soul and reggae and hip-hop and more to a new plateaux. “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.”