Additional personnel: Chris Dawkins (guitar); Taylor Firth (keyboards, programming); Hamlet Luton (bass); Shovell (percussion); E.A.S.E. (programming).
Engineers: Phil Jones, Richard Brown, Bruce Wood.
Recorded at Fon Studios, Sheffield, England; T.T.B. Studios, Wakefield, England; Touchwood Studios, Leeds, England.
This largely instrumental, second Nightmares on Wax album--after the highly regarded WORD OF SCIENCE-- is essentially a solo work by George Evelyn, made after the departure of his partner, Kevin Haper. The booklet contains a plea that this record not be referred to as trip-hop, saying that it is actually hip-hop. Though a reasonable request, make no mistake--SMOKERS DELIGHT is in no way a hip-hop record in the way that, say, Too Short's SHORTY THE PIMP is a hip-hop record.
Opening with a four-and-a-half minute slow groove, driven by piano and bass, SMOKERS DELIGHT clearly sets itself apart from mainstream hip-hop--the tracks feature serious jazz influences, touches of ambient, some very low-key funk, and almost no vocals. The best tracks are the more than seven-minute-long "Groove St.," featuring the kind of rubbery bass line that recalls Bernie Worrell's finest; the meandering build-up and wiggly guitar of "Cruise (Don't Stop)"; and the awe-inspiring, good-natured secret agent sleaze of "Mission Venice." If you are in the mood for a cool, down-tempo trip, SMOKERS DELIGHT is your ticket.
What the critics say...
Alternative Press (2/96, p.78) - "...Hip-hop beats, jazz sonorities, syncopated rhythms--NOW pull them all together, folding them into a smooth, frothy concoction. Pure aural seduction."
CMJ (10/23/00, p.10) - Included in CMJ's "5 Essential Downbeat Albums" - "...A stony affair comprised of languid jazz melodies, rolling dub-bass, lazy funk riffs and instrumental hip-hop ambience..."
Option (3-4/96, p.115) - "...an electro-pop fan's dream come true...sophisticated stoner music, leaving behind the usual cheap grooves and easy laughs for over an hour's worth of pure electronic soul..."
- Nights Interlude
- Dredd Overboard
- Pipes Honour
- Me + You
- Groove St.
- Time (To Listen)
- Tha Journey, (Man)
- Bless My Soul
- Cruise (Don't Stop)
- Mission Venice
- What I'm Feelin' (Good)
- Gambia Via Vagator Beach
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