In our anything-goes age it is worth remembering that the music Nightmares On Wax made in the 90s was radical for the way that it spliced together sonic styles with aptitude. Smokers Delight, Nightmare On Wax’s 1995 sophomore LP, is one of the finest examples of the project’s boundary-pushing sound. This record was well ahead of its time for the way that it mixed trip-hop, hip-hop breaks, illbient, Latin percussion and downtempo electronics. As well as being highly innovative the record is also effortlessly cool, its low-end theory on cruise control throughout its 72-minute runtime. Along with the likes of Coldcut, DJ Food, Massive Attack and Beck, Nightmares On Wax created a bold vision for the post-genre future here, one that still exerts great influence over many contemporary artists.
When a classic album like Smokers Delight is primed for reissue, it is common to find rare cuts from around the time of the original release included as bonus beats. However, this new edition of Smokers Delight sees Nightmares On Wax doing something a little different. Two of the four additional tracks here, ‘Let’s Ascend’ and ‘Aquaself’, are in fact completely new numbers which have been created with the same instruments, studio equipment, processes and techniques that were used when Nightmares On Wax came up with Smokers Delight all those years ago. As such, these cuts form a delightful bridge between the old and new Nightmares on Wax aesthetics, combining the languid breaks of old with that textural richness which has characterized more recent LPs like Shape The Future. We are also graced with a new funk mix of ‘Dreddoverboard’ and a luxurious, sprawling live take of ‘Nights Introlude’ taped in Chicago in 2014.
Warp and Nightmares On Wax celebrate the twenty-fifth birthday of the project’s seminal, inventive trip-hop joint Smokers Delight LP with a reissue that comes bolstered by new beats, a live take and an alternate mix.