Nightmares on Wax
George Evelyn, better known by his stage names Nightmares on Wax or DJ E.A.S.E.
He is a DJ and Electronic Dance Music composer from Leeds, England.
His music is released through Warp Records and was one of the first releases on the label.
Evelyn got his start in the music industry through an interest in Hip Hop and on joining a local breakdancing crew. He started as a DJ with John Halnon then Kevin Harper and together they released their first album in 1991, A Word of Science: The First and Final Chapter.
Halnon is an established engineer/producer, Harper has since become a solo DJ, and Evelyn partnered with Robin Taylor-Firth.
Evelyn's father and sister introduced him to the Soul music of Quincy Jones and Curtis Mayfield. Later, as Rap music became more popular, he was fascinated by the likes of Rappers Delight and Buffalo Gals. In 1988 he joined a breakdance crew; Solar City Rockers, where he befriended Kevin Harper, Ian Parkes, Santino Deplacido to name a few. A pioneering Leeds DJ making a name at that time, John Halnon, provided mix tapes for the crew. This caught Georges interest and the two started collaborating, originally broadcasting over CB Radio network under the moniker of Nightmares on Wax and swiftly gaining a reputation on the club and "dayer " circuit. Their combination of Hip Hop, [[[Soul]] and Funk cut and mixed with random genres ranging from Dub to Punk and Gothic, to Heavy Metal through to Classical was ahead of its time, and stood out from other aspiring DJ's. John Halnon eventually stepped back from the stage, Kevin Harper then taking up the mantle. Their music fell into a category of artists including The Forgemasters, LFO, and Unique 3. Commenting on their style, he has said "We wanted to do tracks that had Hip Hop beats but experimented with ideas".
Change of Direction
After A Word of Science, Nightmares on Wax disappeared from the music scene for four years. Evelyn went on to run The Headz Club in Leeds and developed their record label, Poverty Records.
He returned to music making with a track on the Mo' Wax Headz compilation.
The next Nightmares on Wax album release was Smokers Delight in 1995, by which time Harper had left to pursue a career in DJing. Evelyn was joined on keyboards and programming by Robin Taylor-Firth. He brought in a variety of musicians, writers, vocalists, and rappers, allowing him to tour. This album also marked his entrance into the American market.
Carboot Soul was the first album to be domestically distributed through the US label, Matador Records. The album featured Soul singer Sara Winton, Hamlet Luton on bass, Chris Dawkins on guitar, and Robin Taylor-Firth on keyboards with the Pure Strings Orchestra on strings.
This was a change for Nightmares on Wax, as they began as a DJ-based group. Their newfound contribution of live musicians allowed for the group to operate more like a band than a studio act. However, the drum machine was not replaced with a live musician, remaining true to the band's original technology-based tracks. No longer in partnership with Kevin Harper, Evelyn had the opportunity to expand what he and John Halnon started. He explains that;-
"Doing the live side proves there is more to the music. People have something more tangible to relate the music to and it gives us the chance to connect with the audience. Also I've always had this idea of creating a big band – which is what we call our sound. The main priority for NoW is to prove that we can perform music. But we're not ignoring the fact that we come from a studio, technical background. We just want to mix the old with the new. That's why, at the moment, I don't have a live drummer. The sound of the beats is what makes Nightmares".
After Carboot Soul, NoW did not release another album until 2002. In the meantime, Evelyn concentrated on establishing himself as a producer and musical consultant.
That same year, he contributed a mix album to Studio !K7's DJ-Kicks series.
In 2005, Evelyn started his own independent record label, Wax On Records. Taylor-Firth also started his own label named BlancoMusic.
Return to music composition and mixing
In 2002, Evelyn released his fourth LP under Warp Records, Mind Elevation. He continued to further develop his new label and build a network of artists.
Four years later in March 2006, Nightmares on Wax released their fifth LP, In a Space Outta Sound on Warp Records.
In 2008, they released the LP Thought So also on Warp, and in 2009 Coming Home was released on Wax On Records.
1) A Word of Science: The First and Final Chapter (1991)
2) Smokers Delight (1995)
3) Carboot Soul (1999)
4) Mind Elevation (2002)
5) In a Space Outta Sound (2006)
6) Thought So (2008)
7) Feelin' Good (2013)
Now Is the Time (2014)
- DJ-Kicks: Nightmares on Wax (2000)
- Late Night Tales: Nightmares on Wax (2003)
- Coming Home (2009)
- Wax Da Beach (2011)
- A Case of Funk (1991)
- Still Smokin... (1996)
- Sound of N.O.W. (2000)
- Ground Floor (2016)
- "Dextrous" (1989)
- "Aftermath #1" (1990)
- "Set Me Free" (1992)
- "Happiness!" (1992)
- "Alive" (1994)
- "DreddOverBoard" (1996)
- "Finer" (1999)
- "Les Nuits" (1999)
- "Keep On" (2000)
- "Know My Name" (2002)
- "70s 80s" (2003)
- "Date with Destiny" (2003)
- "Brothers on the Slide (Dub)" (2003)
- "Flip Ya Lid" (2006)
- "The Sweetest" (2006)
- "195lbs" (2008)
- "Back to Nature" (2017)