Cassette Boy The Parker Tapes Review

Album. Released 2002.  

BBC Review

Seven years in the making and the Cassette Boy debut has finally arrived. Built from...

Christian Hopwood 2002

Hmmm, this is dangerous...

Cassette Boy are Mark and Simon... that's it, Mark and Simon.And yet we have no proof that these are their real names. Having listened to this record it is easy to understand the anonymity surrounding its producers. Not only is this album rich in highly slanderous spurts, there is also enough copyright violation here to send any record company lawyer in to a flat spin. Compiled between 1995 and 2002, The Parker Tapes is perhaps the most anarchic example of plunderphonics so far.

The Cassette Boy attitude pays homage to the likes of Chris Morris and Bill Hicks as well as John Oswald, the original plunderphonics pioneer. The motivation behind this record appears to fall evenly between creating something that is genuinely hilarious and perhaps downright offensive, well,to the fainthearted at least.In addition, the recordserves asa catharsis of all the accumulated media fear mongering that surrounds us and permeates our consciousness us day after day.

Comprised of 98 tracks The Parker Tapes is built from thousands upon thousands of samples, sound bites and music clips that have been hacked, slashed, looped and rearranged to skew meaning and entice parody. Entertained by this exercise or not, you can't help but marvel at the execution. The amount of work that has gone in to harvesting the raw material for this record is breathtaking and as a result there is little that escapes Cassette Boy's cut and paste satire.

Consequently, we are subjected to Jamie Oliver confessing he has very few friends, Jeremy Paxman proclaiming Bill Gates to be part of the forces of darkness and Tony Blair assuring us the Labour Party will wage war on all eleven year olds.

Even though much of this record is spoken word the musical interludes that intersperse these bizarre ramblings are often hip hop breaks. That said cut ups of The Smiths, S Club 7, Frank Sinatra, Cypress Hill, RAM Trilogy and David Bowie are all present in one form or another. However, the essence is still very much that of hip hop hence it is feature in this section.

Most people will find the material on this album deeplydisturbing yet to those who are familiar with the edgiest media satire (and up to speed on their history of contemporarymusic) will find this quite exhilarating. Search and deploy.

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