Just Jack: Part 1 begins in 2002, with a young Londoner feeding sounds between two tape decks in a bedroom to produce a much loved album and a savvy little touring operation. It ends shortly after with the tiny record label that unearthed his talent going bust. Every cloud has a silver lining? Possibly. Just Jack: Part 2 begins in 2005, a little more auspiciously, with him signing on Mercury Records dotted line. Where does this one end? Over to you...
Just Jack is possessed of a local charm ready to go international. Neither bound by musical restrictions nor the notional idea of cool, he has taken the sum of his individual influences and turned them into a unique, genre-hopping, jump-up album - the smash-hit, hookladen, space-disco odyssey Overtones.
Hes steadily collated his teen experiences and set them against his lyrical ear for the specific experiences of his unsung generation. You know the guy that weathered acid house and came out the other end beaming, fully realizing that parties might not necessarily be the answer, but had a whole lot of fun finding that out? Thats Jack Allsopp.
Overtones is a joyous, zeitgeist-leaning slice of intuitive songwriting. While it fits into the new school of British storytelling, it isnt ashamed to wear its party heart on its sleeve. Just Jack isnt angsty or selfregarding. He knows that a delicious, sly groove is the best way to access the soul. You know the guy that tells you a funny, idiosyncratic story, slightly off his head in a small, sweaty, darkened room at 2am with a mirror ball twirling in the background? Thats Jack Allsopp as well. Hes a born communicator.
Just Jacks music is the conduit to his laconic life philosophies. Jacks experience of the night-time began at a time when house DJs would be unafraid to throw in a bit of hip-hop or pop if the mood felt right. As he points out with his trademark disregard for bandwagon jumping, when an era throws up something as thoroughly groovy asThe Jungle Brothers Ill House You and Carly Simons Why to Joey Beltrams Energy Flash, why not celebrate the diversity of it?
Not that Jack is in thrall to retro sounds. His music is something that hasnt been heard before. Whether it be on the balls-out house shimmy of Starz In Their Eyes - his questioning ode to the Heat generation - or the muted, pulsing melodies of Disco Friends (who hasnt got one of those?) hes armed with a backpack full of anthems in the waiting.
Just check out the forthcoming single Glory Days a prime glimpse into the laid-back flare of the world of Just Jack.
A North London boy by birth and now choice, Jack was going to be a furniture designer but having completed a degree, realised that his designs should be moving rather than static. His five-year apprenticeship as a bedroom dabbler chopping up obscure records, led to debut album The Outer Marker receiving a rapturous reception from press and fans alike.
A voice tuned directly to his moment in enviable way with a good-time tune, Just Jack is here to brighten a cynical and pasty British musical landscape, still attempting to make sense of drug addicts, nostalgists and class-confined storytellers. Just Jack isnt hip-hop, he isnt house and he isnt lush singer-songwriting. Hes a bit of all of them.
Is it wrong to call what I do interesting pop music? he says, still delightfully unsure as to where his unique take on the adolescent experience might fit in. Nope, Jack. It sounds Just about right.
Boasting 12 tracks that bristle with shimmering melodies, Overtones is Jacks most definitive work to date and has fast become one of the must-have albums of the moment.