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King Of Woolworths - L'Illustration Musicale (released 24.03.03) Reviewed

The King is alive and well and making bizarre sampled sound scapes in deepest Derbyshire. The band is a trading name for Jon Brooks who has created this album as a follow up to his 2001 debut, 'Ming Star'. If you don't have 'Ming Star' you may still have heard music from it because one of the singles from the album, 'Bakerloo', was used as a soundtrack for an Orange TV commercial.

Apparently 'L' Illustration Musicale' takes it's cue from library music. Luckily, the inspiration doesn't come from badly scratched Jim Reeves vinyl that Brooks found at his local book depository. Instead he utilises music from the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop and the French equivalent (name checked on the album title).
King Of Woolworths - L'Illustration Musicale (released 24.03.03) Reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com
These TV departments created TV soundtracks from the sixties through to the eighties. Brooks names one track 'Delia Derbyshire' as a dedication to a particular Workshop employee who he credits with inventing sampling because of her method of creating musical loops by cutting and splicing bits of tape.

Each track takes these odd, fragile, and often haunting samples as the starting point of the song and gradually builds upon them to generate a complete wall of sound. At times, the album makes great incidental background music, which is fine if you are fed up with music distracting you from more important tasks. The few truly impressive tracks are the songs that move away from the pulsing electro beats and add a very soulful dimension. This is most obvious on the songs that include strong guest vocalist contributions. Dot Allison adds a St. Etienne style vocal to 'Sell Me Back My Soul' and the wonderful 'Nuada', which is reminiscent of Morcheeba, has The Delgado's Emma Pollack on singing duties.

Gavin Eves



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