12 Songs, 57 Minutes

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About Cuban Boys

One of the first acts to utilize the power of the Internet, Cuban Boys were a KLF-style anarchic production team who briefly found fame in the late '90s with their quirky cut-and-paste sample-based dance-pop. Formed in Torquay in 1998, the anonymous quartet of Ricardo Autobahn, sister Jenny McLaren, Skreen B, and B.L. Underwood -- who never revealed their real names -- first came to attention when one of its tracks, "Diophantus Arithmetica," was rumored to have been recorded by Oasis' Noel Gallagher. After their debut single, the South Park-sampling "Oh My God! They Killed Kenny," appeared on influential Radio 1 DJ John Peel's Festive Fifty countdown, they released a self-funded EP, Blueprint for Modernisation, whose track "Cuban Boy" later became the theme tune to Scottish sitcom Still Game. At the end of 1999, they became an unlikely chart success when their single "Cognoscenti vs Intelligentsia," based on one of the first Internet memes, Hampster Dance, which itself was based on Roger Miller's "Whistle Stop," reached number four. However, after being forced to remove all the unauthorized samples on their recordings, their debut album, Eastwood, flopped, and the band was dropped by its label, resulting in the group releasing a bitter cover version of the Sex Pistols' "EMI." Since then, Cuban Boys have concentrated on issuing material through their own official website, including the 2004 John Peel tribute song "The Nation Needs You," the 2008 album The Satellite Junkyard, and the 2010 compilation Art vs Commerce. Autobahn and McLaren also joined forces to record two albums under the guise of Spray, while Autobahn produced Glen Campbell's 2002 Top 20 "Rhinestone Cowboy" remix and Daz Sampson's 2006 U.K. Eurovision Song Contest entry, "Teenage Life." ~ Jon O'Brien

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