Review - N.O.W. "Smokers Delight" (fwd)

Alexees G. Hobson (
Fri, 25 Aug 1995 14:43:02 -0400 (EDT)

I think this review might interest some people.
I liked the suggestion of paracetamol in the morning... :)))

Madchester Jazz On,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 1995 19:14:37 +0100
To: Non Receipt Notification Requested <>
Subject: Review - N.O.W. "Smokers Delight"

Nightmares On Wax - "Smokers Delight" (Warp 35CD)

Nights Introlude / Dreadoverboard / Pipes Honour / You And Me / Stars
/ Wait A Minute / Prayin (For A Jeepbeat) / Groove Street / Time (To
Listen) / (Man) Tha Journey / Bless My Soul / Don t Stop (The Cruise)
/ Mission Venice / What I m Feeling (Good) / Rise / Rise Reprise /
Gambia Via Vagator Beach

First off, make a trip round to your local. Catch the eye of your
favourite dealer and discretely purchase an eighth. Pop round to the
24 hour garage and get some king size Rizlas and an ounce of Golden
Virginia. Next, fetch an enormous flagon of water and retire to your
bedroom, perhaps with some nice company. Make yourself comfortable,
and once suitably installed, skin up, smoke lots, sink into the music,
but most of all, relax. In the morning, when you're done, take two
paracetamol and file "Smokers Delight" somewhere between all those Dub
Syndicate LPs and any other On U-Sound stuff you might have, your
copy of "Headz" and that lovely Wagon Christ LP..... only until later
on the same day, mind!

So there you have it, "Smokers Delight" really is "for the true
herbalist." Imagine Dub Syndicate with the Caribbean, reggae flavour
largely removed and you won't be far wrong. Gorgeous, full, dub
basslines abound. But as I've already suggested, there are subtle hues
of trip hop in here as well. And its all nicely rolled up with
sprinkle of funk and a dash of jazz. Some of the tracks really conjure
up images from the 60s/70s of hippies with outrageous shirts burning
joss sticks and smoking dope. But there's one single word which
describes this music more than any other, and that's "mellow." Yeah!

Things kick off firmly in the nineties with "Nights Introlude," a
superbly smooth number (imagine aural Bailey's) which sounds like it
could be a St. Etienne instrumental. As the track progresses the
kitsch builds and things take on the more dated feel which pervades so
much of "Smokers Delight." "Dreadoverboard" is a nice, up-tempo dub
rendition and is followed by the more drawn out dub and reverb guitar
of "Pipes Honour." "You And Me" features the touching refrain
"You....... And Me.......You......." sung in such a way as to give a
laid back 60s feel. This runs straight into "Stars" which turns out to
be 70s wine bar music (or at least, what I imagine 70s wine bar music
to be) with an oh-so-relaxing tinkley piano/keyboard riff. "(Man) The
Journey" sports a throbbing, funk bassline and is a different affair
altogether, reminding me of Happy Monday's "Rave On" without the
vocals. And "Mission Venice" really IS something off Dub Syndicate's
"Classic Selection" (Volume Two I think). Best of all though is "What
I'm Feeling (Good)" which is a gorgeous, summer meadows,
bubbling-over-with-optimism-and-joy 70s disco, funk gem and is
criminally short at just over two minutes. "Rise" perpetuates the 70s
funk vibe in fine slick fashion and really hits that mellow spot. The
reprise is more of the same and this is about the only track here you
actually get enough of!

Don't expect to be instantly dazzled - this record is what it is,
and I wouldn't say it was ground-breaking. But it creeps up on you
almost imperceptibly until you suddenly find yourself head-over-heals.
And it does what it does so well that there's just no criticising it.
Somewhat of a surprising release for Warp granted, but very nice
indeed and highly recommended.

Released 25 september, 1995.