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KUMD Album Review: Nightmare on Wax

Nightmare on Wax
Nightmare on Wax

Nightmare on Wax| Shape the Future

Years removed from his group’s conception in the late 1980s, Nightmare on Wax now consists solely of DJ E.A.S.E who dons the moniker and continues to compose some of his greatest music. 

He’s credited with the sum of the early work in the sub-genres of electronic music, which featured more ambient sound and relied heavily on beats, at the same time orchestrating synergy between instruments and song components. As a composer DJ E.A.S.E. enlists vocalists, musicians and others to help bring his latest pieces to life.

“When you exhale, I breathe the air you breathe, we’re all together, really, this is the way nature designed…” “Back to Nature” opens with assistance from Kuauhtli Vasquez & Wixarika Tribe and makes you aware of the album’s message. A testimony followed by a tribal chant on a soothing track with a classic reggae feel allows for an intimate connection, as if you were listening to an audiotape. Another take from the album that include this reggae feel is the LSK featured “Tomorrow” and the more spacey “Tenor Fly.”

DJ E.A.S.E., known for his ability to blend sounds, shows his production skills on the album with songs less experimental. “Typical” is one of these tracks, backed by Jordan Rakei, where vocals come together to create a blues track – it’s a hidden gem on the album. The two create a musical noir with Rakei’s voice adding the perfect amount of soul on to the record.

Another soulful vocalist, Sadie Walker, brings an eerie grace to “Deep Shadows” that seems appropriate. Following the 2-minute mark in the song, Sadie returns to the track and the second half shows off more of her vocal range. Bending genre lines, E.A.S.E creates a reggae-influenced soul record incorporating his DJ turns and all types of instruments.

Included in the digital release. one of the highlights from the album, “Citizen Kane,” gets a rap upgrade. The original featured Mozez on the chorus who adding choir-like vocals as if creating a hymn. This new version features Minnesota’s Allan Kingdom, adding his lyrics over the graceful track, and delivering vocals at a quicker speed than you’d expect. This is mostly because the album is rich with tribal chants, singers and production by one of the most accomplished DJs in the world.

Almost thirty years of production and professional musical experience later, we see DJ E.A.S.E. resurrect Nightmare On Wax, bringing us some of the best music of his catalog and proving he hasn’t missed a step in the sound he helped craft.

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