Review Summary: What we're dealing with here is a total lack of respect for the lawCRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC ORDER ACT 1994
1994 CHAPTER 3
PUBLIC ORDER: COLLECTIVE TRESPASS OR NUISANCE ON LAND
Powers in relation to raves
63 Powers to remove persons attending or preparing for a rave
(1) This section applies to a gathering on land in the open air of 100 or more persons (whether or not trespassers) at which amplified music is played during the night (with or without intermissions) and is such as, by reason of its loudness and duration and the time at which it is played, is likely to cause serious distress to the inhabitants of the locality; and for this purpose:
(a) such a gathering continues during intermissions in the music and, where the gathering extends over several days, throughout the period during which amplified music is played at night (with or without intermissions); and
(b) “music” includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterized by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.
(2) If, as respects any land in the open air, a police officer of at least the rank of superintendent reasonably believes that:
(a) two or more persons are making preparations for the holding there of a gathering to which this section applies,
(b) ten or more persons are waiting for such a gathering to begin there, or
(c) ten or more persons are attending such a gathering which is in progress,
he may give a direction that those persons and any other persons who come to prepare or wait for or to attend the gathering are to leave the land and remove any vehicles or other property which they have with them on the land.
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 changed the face of rave music forever. The act was explicitly aimed at suppressing the activities of the rave culture, namely squatting, direct action and the rave ideology of a free party. Thousands of artists were forced underground, and many local artists who had gained a following based simply off word of mouth directly suffered as a result. More successful groups such as Orbital, Dreadzone and Autechre vehemently expressed their disgust at what was branded by the media as nothing more than a ‘witch hunt’, with the latter even releasing a 3 track e.p that claimed to contain songs that contained no identical beats, thus rendering them playable under the new laws. But The Prodigy, hero’s of the rave scene and still bathing in the warm reception of their debut Experience
decided to go for an even more direct approach. Ditching their acid friendly tones for something far more dark and sinister they set out to make their opinions heard, and to stand up for the very audiences that had pushed them into the spotlight. The 4th of July 1994, Music For The Jilted Generation
is released, independence day for the chemically dependant hophead. The soundtrack to the disenchanted youth, The Prodigy revealed their absolute thoughts on the subject with 5 simple words: F*** ‘em, and their law.
Musically, this album came out of left field for fans of the group. Ditching the bubblegum sheen and family friendly sampling of their earlier work, Liam and co. instead moved into a more progressive oriented scene for this release. Containing such sprawling epics as ‘Break and Enter’, ‘Speedway (Theme From Fastlane) and the 20 minute ‘Narcotic Suite’, it showed the group attaining a much more mature aspect to their sound. Also unlike Experience is this album’s cohesive theme, the continuing thought and idea that binds this album, and that is revolution. Resting on the shoulders of this record are the cries and calls for brothers to rejoin in arms, and the onslaught of a governmental collapse. The looped glass smashing of ‘Break and Enter’, the aforementioned quotes of ‘Their Law’, the recognition of their fans in ‘Voodoo People’, the not so subtly titled ‘No Good (Start the Dance)’ and throwback era vibes of ‘One Love’ all show that this is an album cloaked in rave propaganda.
Aside form the already mentioned progressive elements that managed to creep in, this album also saw the band shy away from the quintessential rave blueprint and move into a more breakbeat oriented soundscape. Also prevalent throughout is their affinity for a more rock oriented vibe with both ‘Voodoo People’ and 'Their Law’ swapping synth lines for guitar licks as the driving force. While the tempo’s here still remain relatively fast paced though, more akin to Experience
, there are definite drops in the pace; ‘Poison’ and ‘3 Kilos’ allow for plenty of breathing room in between the sonic maelstrom. The one thing that truly shines through the most in this recording is the distinct sound that Liam gives each of these tracks. ‘Their Law’ is loud, bass and guitars both fight for dominance over an immense percussion line, ‘Speedway’ with it’s hypnotic siren loops and infectious bass fills is all over the show; it literally tears over the start line and plummets around the course for nearly 7 minutes. ‘Poison’ is dark and furious, unbridled in its chaotic nature, it makes for an interesting contrast compared to what else is on offer; it also introduces Maxim as a vocalist who does a reasonably adequate job behind the microphone. But album closer ‘The Narcotic Suite’ still remains the most diverse track on offer; sprawling in its nature and grand in its execution, it simulates the descent into madness from a junkhead’s perspective. While opener ‘3Kilos’ moves along at a slightly slower pace with its big beat tendencies and hip hop flavored sound, ‘Skylined’ kicks things up a few notches with a giant electro-thud, its repetitive nature picking out a beat in your sub consciousnesses while the introductory string section brings about a sense of transcendence. The suite is rounded out with the 303 acid flavored sounds of ‘Claustrophobic Sting’, a track paranoid and sensory in its approach, it seeks to strip away the defenses of the listener’s trip and move them into a delirious world of crushing bass and infectious keyboard lines. And when it’s all done you just want to do it all over again.
Music For The Jilted Generation
is a siren song to all The Prodigy fans, a breath of fresh air and a much needed cry for retribution. 15 years down the track and it still remains as impressive and overwhelming as it did upon the day of its release. Featuring an even more varied sound than their landmark The Fat Of The Land
this is the album that would serve as the precursor for their soon to be adopted ‘punk’ image. While some of the vocal samples sound slightly dated this is an essential requirement for any serious music collector’s library, none of its potent venom has dried up in the ensuing years.
On August 4th 2008, The Prodigy re-released Music For The Jilted Generation
under the name of More Music For The Jilted Generation
. As well as remastering the entire album (not entirely needed, it’ll only be truly noticed through headphones), included on the second disc are some true gems that I will briefly touch upon.
When Liam went into the post production for Jilted Generation
he realized that he had in fact gone over the required time for an album, as a result ‘One Love’ and ‘The Heat (The Energy)’ were drastically cut and the track ‘We Eat Rhythm’ was removed from the album all together. Both of the former are present in their original and unaltered state, and the latter is also included. Also featured is The Dust Brothers (an early name for The Chemical Brothers) remix of ‘Voodoo People’ which is well worth a listen, as well as a live rendition of ‘Poison’, which features a rather interesting section involving beat boxing and live flute instrumentation; the devoted Prodigy fan should definitely take a look as to what is on offer on the bonus disc supplied.