ALPHA Pepper

In Bangladesh, the national car is pretty much the Morris Minor. They don’t make them any more, but an enterprising Englishman has set up a machine shop where the Bangladeshis build parts for their old cars. By now, nearly all the cars are entirely composed of new parts. Posing the interesting question – are they still the same cars?

By way of a model, here is ‘Pepper’: a selection of remixes and B-sides by Bristol’s Alpha, on Massive Attack’s label, with a sleeve oddly reminiscent of an airport hoarding advertising a Mediterranean holiday in 1974. The philosophical bit comes in when you find that ‘Pepper’ represents a renovation of their bland trip-hop saloon. Happily, it’s not really the same vehicle at all. Out with soupy whale noises and in with clatter is the way of it. Corin Dingley and Andy Jenks have a dangerous gift for beige which they have sensibly here commissioned a gang of drum’n’bassists to butcher. One is the Underdog (Grrr! Actually called Trevor), and he does a mix of ‘Slim’ rendering it all drums and violence.

Some puzzlement, though. If Dingley and Jenks are aware of the go-faster stripes, why do they settle for the mediocre pootle at a steady 56? Oh right. Safe from harm. Gotcha.