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Shout Out! To Freedom... is the new album from Nightmares on Wax featuring Shabaka Hutchings, Greentea Peng, Haile Supreme, Mara TK, Sabrina Mahfouz and Pip Millett.
"I feel like I've been set free of something and I am now becoming who I really am," says George Evelyn. As Nightmares on Wax Evelyn has - for the last 30 years, as Warp's longest serving signing - been consistently at the forefront of contemporary music, creating a unique blend of electronica, jazz, hip-hop, techno, dub, funk, soul and techno. Although 9 albums in, he may have only just truly stepped into his own groove. Lockdown forced a change of pace and offered some time for meaningful reflection and introspection. "I've been gigging non-stop for 10 years," he says. "And that experience has been beautiful but it also drained me emotionally."
He began to reassess some things. "As a creative you're always questioning everything," he says. "So having the time and the space has meant that I could do a proper deep dive into this stuff. So it was all about this journey of going back to myself, and realising being at home with my wife and my daughter that I've not really been here properly. It's like I've just woken back up to what I actually have - and it's already here."
"I wanted to ask: what is freedom?" he says. "Everybody's got a different idea of it, everybody's got a different concept of it. I realised that internally, we all want to be free of our shit and it doesn't matter what it is. Everybody wants to be free of something. So there are shout outs to freedom in each song. They're all different cries and different calls but there's a coherent feeling through it."
When all the guest's contributions were complete and the album was meticulously assembled to what we hear now, Evelyn picked up one last powerful and potent theme that came oozing out of the grooves. "I think it's the story of the human spirit," he says.