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Stop Your Nonsense

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Album Review

The fact that the pied pipers behind Stop Your Nonsense are complete loons shouldn't hinder your ability to get lost in its juvenile buffoonery. The cover of the fuzzy, lo-fi, sample-based record depicts a tot lying on his side, revving a toy roadster — that indicates the state of mind you may need to enter in order to enjoy it. Most of these sample-based tracks zip by in the amount of time it takes for a youngster to destroy a pillow fort. Throughout the duration of "The Blank," a children's game show host repeats, "What is the blank?" At the same time, a voice that is alternately stretched and compressed exclaims "Huhahahaho — no!" The creepy "Jimmy Had Jane" bears a Dr. Seuss influence: "Pickled egg, pickled egg, Jimmy had Jane/On the back of an eastbound train." Even goofier: on "Rabies," a voice made to sound like a gent on helium croons "Missing her, like I miss rabies." Other characters who pop out of the jack-in-the-box include a surly green grocer, a concerned aunt who leaves a phone message for her niece, and groups of jubilant kids singing about their dancing fingers. Sampled music from children's records and television shows from the '60s and '70s plays a prominent role, and that entails lots of whistles, horns, and garden-variety percussion, as well as occasional noodling from a cheap guitar. The gleeful regression is an escape hatch from reality into a rumpus room of fun house mirrors — imagine adolescent versions of Prince Paul and Aphex Twin toying with a clunky My First Sampler.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s

It came as a surprise to no one that Position Normal's Chris Bailiff and John Cushway were former art students -- you couldn't tell if their found-sound, cut-and-paste collages were the result of too many drugs or a complete lack thereof. Their 1999 debut, Stop Your Nonsense, found release in the U.K. through Mind Horizon and caught a few critics pleasantly off-guard, landing the album on several year's-end best lists. The goofs of PN baffled their small audience with primarily sample-based excursions...
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Stop Your Nonsense, Position Normal
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