Album: Nightmares On Wax, Thought So...(Warp)

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The Independent Culture

During his relocation from Leeds to his new home and studio in Ibiza, Nightmares On Wax leader/producer opted to travel in a convoy of camper-vans carrying his equipment, sound engineer, band and singers, the caravan making stops to take in the sights and evoke moods and landscapes through impromptu recordings.

Tightened up and polished with studio effects, the results on Thought So... are enjoyable, if unchallenging. There are several "studio party" funk grooves in the manner of Sly & The Family Stone (the wah-wah guitar-led "Pretty Dark") and James Brown in muted mood (the opener "Da Feelin"), while the infectious "195lbs" marries a scratchy Meters-style guitar figure with an 808 bassline, over which Ranking Roger offers a genial toast claiming, "My song weigh a hundred ninety-five pound/ Come people, you better hear my sound".

With its itchy guitar hook and fizzing synth riding a rock-steady groove, "Still? Yes!" is one of the shorter, nicer pieces; less engaging is "Moretime", which goes nowhere far too slowly.

Pick of the album:'195lbs', 'Still? Yes!', 'Da Feelin'