Emperors New Clothes – Surreal Estate [Unreleased] 1997
A year in the making yet still to this day unreleased, The Emperors New Clothes final album ‘Surreal Estate’ was recorded and produced by Jackson during 1997. A ferocious highly experimental mix of Jazz, Punk, Post Rock, World music, Dub and Electronics [way too avant grade for their Acid Jazz label at the time], the album was fiercely rejected and stuck in limbo to the present day.
Jackson had cut his teeth with the band remixing 3 different versions of their early single ‘Unsettled life’ and went on toe also mix a later single ‘Dark Light’ which ended up being one of the first releases on his newly formed Output Recordings Label. Holed up in a countryside residential studio the band set about recording their most ambitious and visceral album to date, splitting up in the process. Arguments rose, and after lengthy in studio writing sessions cabin fever set in creating intense friction that destroyed the chance of the bands members ever working again – but in the process formed the soon to be revered band called Gramme. In the midst of the chaos Jackson produced his finest work, merging live musicians with primitive samplers, manipulating sonics in a way he’s never experienced and learning revolutionary techniques along the way.
Gramme came into to existence after the albums lead track ‘Strange Charm’ transformed from a pedestrian Jazz dance track into a full on death disco anthem, the bands bass player Luke Hannam, worked with Jackson supplying bass lines for much of his Playgroup album project as well as numerous remixes, and drummer Leo Taylor became a rhythm section to the stars [Adele, etc] also forming his own new band The Invisible.