The All Seeing I

The All Seeing I

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This 5-song self-titled sampler was released as a free promo attached to copies of a 1999 (Vol 2, Number 21) issue of Jockey Slut Magazine. The EP is comprised of exclusive tracks and remixes of tracks from the band's Pickled Eggs and Sherbert full-length release. The track titles are somewhat deceptive, in that the remixes aren't labeled as such. "Bumpy Music," for example, is actually a reworking of "Sweet Music" from Pickled Eggs and Sherbert. Unlike the album, which featured guest vocals from the likes of Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Babybird's Stephen Jones, and The Human League's Phil Oakley, among others, all but one of the songs on this promo are instrumental or based on samples. That doesn't mean the songs aren't interesting, as the band is quite capable of manufacturing quality beats and inserting samples in the right places. There's a jazzy feeling that flows through the entire sampler, as the dance-related elements are concentrated mostly in the final minute of "Give U.D.I." and "Bumpy Music," which sees a repetitive sample of "sweet music" over a lo-fi house approximation. The band operates in a similar realm as Propellerheads, where down-tempo, atmospheric tracks mingle with light drum'n'bass. "Give U.D.I." gives a dose of both genres on one song. "Pickled Eggs and Sherbert," the song on this promo, not the album, features stunning, bluesy female vocals (the vocalist is not credited); the song crackles and pops most successfully, as a muffled trumpet whines and cries in the background. It's by far the EP's finest song. "The Gods and Sheffield" is some sort of spooky homage to the band's city of origin; over the course of three minutes of more lo-fi electronics and a wailing sound effect, it fails to make much of an impression. "Wanderin' I" sparkles and rings with ambient electronic glee; it's not really much of a song, but it wouldn't sound out of place on one of Brian Eno's ambient albums. The sampler would probably only turn up in the used CD bin of an independent record store, and it's worth a look for fans of Pickled Eggs and Sherbert, but it's not something worth searching for, as it's not one of the band's more interesting releases.

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