1000 Mexicans - Chinese Whispers

Catalogue info: Cracknorm Music, Cracknorm 001
Release date: May 1983
Format: cassette only
Track listing: Music While You Work, I hear you whistle, Conversations with Inmates, Automatic Writing, Pyromaniac

Complete album reviews:

MELODY MAKER - June 4, 1983 (Adam Sweeting)
When is an artist at his most dangerous? In the case of 1000 Mexicans, probably when he's in the bath or dossing about in front of the telly.
Those of you who have already lapped up my revelations about East Dulwich's most refractory ensemble probably already harbour serious doubts. Certainly the Mexicans pay scant regard to conventional theories about taste or musicianship, but fortunately they rescue their unseemly sonic mosaics from the usual pitfalls of snoring pretension or simple tedium with distressing humour.
"Chinese Whispers" is a cassette of their own devising, home made to a tee. I would be less than responsible if I urged you to listen to it more than once, because frankly it's hard going, uneasy listening. Mostly it's an index of potential targets, comprising five "songs" interspersed with advertisements (horribly recorded) and bits of rhythm tracks or effects allowed to wander wheresoever they will. In other words where does "Automatic Writing" start/finish and where does background noise begin? Search me.
Some may call it rubbish, while others might find it unlistenable. I, on the other hand, use it sparingly to clear out the fog accumulated while making tea, listening to other people's records or watching politicians lying to television reports. "Chinese Whispers" is incoherent and apparently disorganised, but by reducing sound to noise and rhythm to irritant it works wonderfully well as an aural Brillo pad. It castigates the parts other soundtracks ignore.
1000 Mexicans have an alternative repertoire of concise tuneful material not represented here. This is a context in which those items could prosper in unforeseen ways, cut adrift from received formats and comfy familiarity. Obtain it , therefore, from 63 East Dulwich Grove, SE22 (London)

SOUNDS - May 21, 1983 (Dave Henderson)
After a hail of demo tapes of variable quality - latterly becoming more and more enjoyable and dare I say commercial - 1000 Mexicans have released a C60 cassette which shows off their versatility with a prowess and a style that many would envy. "Chinese Whispers" acts like a magazine and, like a magazine, is punctuated with adverts.
The five tracks on side one - side two contains thity minutes of blank tape 'for your pleasure' - show off the Mexicans' undoubted musical ability (they could pick up anything and get a tune out of it) in a broadside of bravado. There's humour here and no mistake but, beyond the flippant pleasantries, there's some ecstatic songs, at one moment funked up and the next sounding like everything that XTC should have become.
They take risks too. With the ability to turn out pop certs like "Music While You Work" and "Conversations with Inmates", it's heartwarming to hear them pummel their instruments into a wall of effects on "Pyromaniac". 1000 Mexicans have character and their more esoteric excursions still ring with feeling.
If there was ever a group that deserved to be the first music laureates, these are they (huh!). Tape available from Cracknorm, 63 East Dulwich Grove, London, SE22

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