Sampling is not so much a lost art as it is one that has been shoved brutally aside by the twin ravages of mindless litigation and the mutually shrivelled attention span.
Why bother spending ages digging around for great sound snippets to sample and crowbar into a new song if you’ll get sued until the pips squeak, or if it’s easier to simply download a curated pack of pre-assembled sounds, make a generic Dubstep record, and still have time to brag about it on Facebook?
Records like the ones made by Monster Rally – yet another superb release from the Copyright-free pastures of Bad Panda Records – are a blast from the past, a time when sampling was footloose and fancy free, and one man with a sampler had the world of music at his feet.
Monster Rally has gazed at all the music that has gone before him, and stitched together a bewilderingly gorgeous patchwork of grabbed sounds, snaffled ideas and massaged drumbeats.
To listen to Sun Bum is to aurally experience the feeling of beautiful memories flying past after a long holiday, or approximating the futile act of trying to remember snatches of a dream 20 minutes after waking.
Each song on the Coral LP is a quickly assembled cut and paste collage of saturated Technicolour imagery – shooting here and there at will within pop culture.
From the kitsch to the bongo freakout, from marimba-driven burbles to Hawaiian sunset-after dinner dances, Monster Rally (who is actually a man called Ted) bypasses such fripperies as taste and cool, and simply dives head-first into whatever feels right.
This pays vast, surprising dividends, as each song proves to be another dalliance with the fun and the glorious: Land Ho/Masasu is down-beat, careful, but still chipper, A Voice/Big Sur is shimmering and camp, and Rainbow Rd. is as kaleidoscopically bewitching as the infuriating level of the same name on Super Mario Kart.
Monster Rally doesn’t ask questions. Instead of ‘why?’, the overriding presumption is, ‘well, why not?’. We could all learn a lot gfrom Monster rally. But mainly, we’d just have a brilliant party. Genuinely excellent.