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Nightmares On Wax, "In A Space Outta Sound"

Noticeably stepping away from 2002's accessible Mind Elevation, in particular its almost radio-friendly verse-chorus-verse cuts, the latest N.O.W. album serves not as a return to form but rather as a bridge between that album and the tokeworthy downtempo delights of his post-bleep back catalog.


Boasting stellar production that shames his gaggle of imitators, the results are by-and-large gratifying, but can prove somewhat grating due to an unyielding sense of repetition. No one can deny that George Evelyn knows how to lay down a damn fine groove. How effective he is translating that into a proper song remains up for debate. Case in point: although exhibiting a solid foundation, opener "Passion" just begged for something more than herbal accompaniment to prevent me from skipping through at its midpoint, a rather rough way to start off an album.

However, Evelyn knows how to take total control of his listeners, blunted or otherwise, and applies himself towards such means on several occasions here. No true roots reggae devotee could possibly pass over the sun-drenched "Flip Ya Lid", with classic toasting, subtly dubby echoes, and a bassline begging for a massive sound system. "I Am You" is good old fashioned American blues put through the N.O.W. ringer, lyrically sparse but sonically infused with sincere emotion and spirituality. "Damn" stands out as the true gem of this record, brimming with soulful R&B sensibility and a hefty dollop of uplifting gospel, starkly contrasting with the desperation of the lyrics.

His best album since the essential Carboot Soul, In A Space Outta Sound goes down easy for purists and novices alike, proving that despite even my own protests, Warp isn't completely useless these days.



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Review of the Day

peace orchestra, "reset"
There's really a fine line between jazz-influenced electronic beats and sleepy nu-jazz telephone hold music and unfortunately, this album teeters a weee-bit too close to the undesirable. Kruder & Dorfmeister made a name for themselves remixing a number of people, which is why it's confusingly ironic that their stunning original products produce such mediocre remix efforts. First it was the dreadful Tosca remixes, now this. The 1999 eponymous Peace Orchestra full-length album is simply a must-have in your collection, but three years later, remixes have reinvented the subdued downtempo classic into a multi car crash of dismissable world jazz beat. Gotan Project opens the collection with the strongest track, the first of two appearances of "The Man" with new melodic elements provided by acoustic guitar, accordion, and Coil-esque electronic twitters. It's all downhill from there, however. Beanfield try too hard to be Herbie Hancock on their take on "Meister Fetz" while DJ DSL's reinterpretation of "Double Drums" gives me frightening visions of passing out on seedy hotel lobby furniture. By the time the false bass and 808 drum machine sounds of Meitz's version of "Marakesch" sound in, I'm aching to be listening to the original album in a big way. The remaining tracks, including remixes from Zero dB, Guilliaume Boulard and Chateau Flight are consistently also heavy on the cross between cheesy retro synths and clinical jazz soloists. While I don't doubt the talent of the number of remixers on display, the days of Harold Faltermeyer film scores should remain two decades in the past.



  • The Man (remixed by Gotan Project)
  • Henry (remixed by Zero dB)
  • Who Am I (remixed by Chateau Flight)

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