Getting dextrous with the pioneering Warp artist.
There are few artists who have experimented with as many facets of dance music culture as George Evelyn, the artist best known as Nightmares On Wax. He started out as a young boy building makeshift speakers out of spare TV parts and discarded shoeboxes, inspired by the dub and reggae soundsystem culture of his native Leeds. These events taught him the value of healthy competition, a lesson he carried with him into his teens, when he threw himself into breakdancing, MCing and, later, DJing. His partner in crime during this period was fellow music nut Kevin "Boywonder" Harper. Together, they formed Nightmares On Wax, a DJ duo that evolved into a production partnership responsible for early Warp hits like "Aftermath," "I'm For Real" and "Dextrous." Nearly three decades on, these records still stand up as some of the greatest club tracks ever made.
Between the first Nightmares On Wax album, in 1991, and the second, in 1994, Evelyn and Harper split, leaving the former to continue the project alone. With bleep fading fast and piano house on the rise, Evelyn decided to change tack musically, cultivating the soulful stoner electronica most people associate with Nightmares On Wax today. More than 20 years and five albums later, it's a sound he continues to pursue, working from his home studio in Ibiza, where he's lived since 2007. On a recent trip to London, Evelyn sat down with Carlos Hawthorn to try and make sense of his long and winding career.