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The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu

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Biography

London, England (1987 – present)

In 1987, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty’s collaborations began in London, England. They assumed alter egos - King Boy D and Rockman Rock respectively - and they adopted the name The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (The JAMs), after the fictional conspiratorial group “The Justified Ancients of Mummu” from The Illuminatus! Trilogy. In those novels, the JAMs are what the Illuminati (a political organisation which seeks to impose order and control upon society) call a group of Discordians who have infiltrated the Illuminati in order to feed them false information. As The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, Drummond and Cauty chose to interpret the principles of the fictional JAMs in the context of music production in the corporate music world. Shrouded in the mystique provided by their disguised identities and the cultish Illuminatus!, they mirrored the Discordians’ gleeful political tactics of causing chaos and confusion by bringing a direct, humorous but nevertheless revolutionary approach to making records, often attracting attention in unconventional ways. The JAMs’ primary instrument was the digital sampler with which they would plagiarise the history of popular music, cutting chunks from existing works and pasting them into new contexts, underpinned by rudimentary beatbox rhythms and overlayed with Drummond’s raps, of social commentary, esoteric metaphors and mockery.

The JAMs’ debut single “All You Need Is Love” dealt with the media coverage given to AIDS, sampling heavily from The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” and Samantha Fox’s “Touch Me (I Want Your Body)”.

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