Chill out in your dorm room with this throwback to late-’90s acid jazz.
In 1995, when I was a freshman at the University of Vermont, there was but a handful of albums you could count on to come down from a beer-, ramen-, and weed-fueled haze. Nightmares on Wax’s Smoker’s Delight was one them. Fast-forward 13 years and 4 albums and Ibiza-based George Evelyn (aka E.A.S.E.), the producer behind Nightmares on Wax, is still making music to impress your dorm-room guests. From the booty-bumping opener (“Da Feelin’”) to the minimalist hip-hop of “195 lbs” (replete with metallic boom-baps, laser-beam keyboards, and dancehall vocals) to the Air-meets-Boards of Canada “Calling,” this album keeps the late-night funk journey going. Though it’s not terribly thrilling music, as evidenced by some uninspired lyrical loops (“I’m bringing it back/I wanna bring it back” on “Bringin’ It,” for instance), that was never the point. If this album signals the return of late-’90s acid jazz the way Justice, Daft Punk, and the Chemical Brothers have brought back techno, I’m cool with that. Fire up the ramen.