JAMs on dry bread- Library of Mu

Library of Mu record:
Title: JAMs on dry bread
Date: 20 June, 1987
Journal: NME
Author: Danny Kelly
Type of resource: Reviews
No. views: 7527
Description: disappointing...runs short of ideas should have been better

JAMs on dry bread

By Danny Kelly (20 June, 1987, NME)

1987 - What The F**k Is Going On?

(Sound Of Mu)

SOME FACTS: Sampling is the new sorcery, the process that allows you to isolate any available sound and superimpose it on any other. Sampling is the electro-magic wand that zapped the tired old carcass of fag-end electro/scratch and unleashed hip-hop. Sampling is the grim reaper for conventional songs, and the armoured liberator of the imagination.

SOME MORE FACTS: '1987 ...' is Britain's first stab at conspicuously sampled pop. '1987 ...' is primarily the work of one King Boy D, the enigma who as former hutch-keeper to the Bunnymen and acid-taster for Julian Cope, boasts some of Europe's most seriously widened braincells. '1987 ...' comes hot on the tail of (and centrally features) the JAM's mighty 'All You Need Is Love' single, recently legitimised after a hectic period as a desperado white label ...

A QUESTION: And so, given all these verities, is '1987 ...' the runaway juggernaut hyperbrill monster crack that the outriding 45 threatened?


AN 'EH?': 'Eh?'

THE BITTER TRUTH: Sampling is going to render pop's smug face unrecognisable, but it cannot make you me and next door's cat into instant musical behemoths. Just as the world's snazziest word-processor won't turn your note to the milkman into a Shakespearrean sonnet, so even the most ultra-mod sampling feat is only as creative as the carbon-based organism (you, me or next door's cat) sat behind it. Audacity, completely unfounded self-confidence, utter ruthlessness and a fast car will, of course, be useful attributes to the go-ahead noise-pirate of the 90s, but skill, feel, instinct, vision - y'know, boring old talent - will still be bottom line compulsories.

And it's in these latter commodities that the JAMs seem conpicuously undertooled. With the entire sonic universe to choose from '1987 ...' actually manages, in places, to run short of ideas. So, while 'Rockman Rock' - Hamilton Bohannon worried hairless by CCS's toytown Zepplings - approaches the 21-gun-and-four-kitchen-sinks standard of 'All You Need ...', 'Queen And I' dribbles off into what seems like seven consecutive editions of Top Of The Pops, and 'Next' (despite a surreal joust between Julie Andrews and The Fall!) dies nailed to a saxophone of stupefying tediosity.

A (totally unfair) comparison between King Boy D's worthy but strained wrestling and the output of the current masters of sample-pop (Schoolly D's soundwiz DJ Code Money, for example, or LL Cool J's tape-titan, Cut Creator) clinches the case. Theirs - all humour, vibrancy and colour - is an aerosoled version of The Book Of Kells; his is a glitter-crusted charity Christmas card ...

AN END: '1987 ...' isn't a bad record, just disappointing, the sound of one good idea spread very thin, of novelty wearing off.

Danny Kelly


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Posted by Guest on 2009-05-09 02:10:02


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