nick nicely (always spell lower case by the way), is an enigma. He's spent decades making psychedelic music in one form or another yet it wasn't until 2008 he made his first live performance. Wearing a sheet over his head naturally. His occasional live performances have continued that fine tradition.
His strange tale of nearly success commercially began back in the 70's and continued into the 80's until he found himself pretty much at the apex of the acid house/rave movement of the early 90's with friend also DJ producing a mix of house beats and psychedelia.
It was also a period which might be seen as when the esoteric needs of many outweighed the needs of the few left doing last decades thing. Rock musicians, new agers, acid house DJ's, acid jazz groups, the rise of Madchester rock and roll all had a common thread comparable to it being seen as a second resurgence of psychedelic influences. It had a similar vibrancy and feel, chemically induced or otherwise, with an open freedom in sound making that should have lasted a lot longer than it actually did. But as ever, when there's a sniff of something different from a fast growing underground in pile a whole load of major labels with their self styled producers all with an eye for the next big thing. Which inevitably means the end of the dream.
Once commercialised or branded by the production team the resulting debris from the talent search is suitably demoralised and the artists usually go and do something different anyway or else the new scene quickly becomes the old scene and just fades away. It's happened to every new phase in popular music culture. Probably everything else too. Change is inevitable.. so is exploitation.
When the time came for the exploitation business to arrive at nick nicely in the 90's maelstrom he turned his back on it screwing up another chance of commercial success. Who knows though, there is nothing certain about giving your music up to someone elses vision, especially when the vision is financial.
Having dropped out of sight for a few years the resurfacing of nicely in the 2000's has been with compilation albums and these occasional solo performances with the mention of a forthcoming album which in 2011 was duly delivered in eccentric nicely form... on cassette. It sold out,
In 2012 Fruits De Mer, having not forgotten about the nicely back catalogue, released a limited 7" vinyl single of a new version of one of his successful recordings "Hilly Fields", marking it's 30th anniversary. That sold out too.
And now at last this September has seen the release of nick nicely's only second full length album 'Space of a Second', and this time it gets the works on vinyl, cd and download.
It's an album that is full of psychedelic surprises, twists, turns, songs, songs which are just snatches of melody, instruments layered then isolated, super phased vocals that come and go, it's a mosaic of psychedelic sound that has nothing to do with the 60's or any other era. It's defined only by a man that has spent most of his life playing with sound and evolving from each decade.
It's impossible to say even when these tracks were recorded. How did the song or part of the song evolve in the first place. An album of restless curiosity. This is psychedelic music of the 21st century. An outstanding piece of work.