Biography - by Roger Morton
Jas Mann Babylon Zoo is where the playful, hyper- productive Jas Mann reconciles the grim and fabulous contradictions of his past and wraps them in leaves and flexi-chrome. The name itself joins the Babylonian colour riot of his childhood years in India to the bleak urban Zoo of his adolescence in Wolverhampton. It's just a name but it's also a banner of convenience beneath which Mann can pop it up with a parade of aggressive melodies and play a serious game of cultures chaos cillage. Well, pretensions haven't done him much harm so far. The Boy With The X- Ray Eyes, so named because of his startling blue peepers, couldn't have dreamed up a better start.

Babylon Zoo's January '96 first single, Spaceman, made it the fastest selling British debut ever, and EMI's most rocket-propelled song since The Beatles "She Loves You ". As well as passing a million sales in the UK, it swiftly took up number one position across most of Europe.

Jas was born in Britain to Sikh parents and raised between the Temple and the television set. "I think I took all the positive things from cultures rather than taking the negative side", he says of his Anglo-Asian past. "I liked the fact that I wasn't one dimensional. I like things like that, it keeps the soul excited. And I want that to be a great positive influence coming from my music".

Jas' first musical adventure was fronting the end of the 80's groovadelic indie band The Sandkings. They toured extensively with The Wonder Stuff and The Happy Mondays and Jas gained a solid reputation as their stage diving teenage sex god singer. But two years in a van was enough. Jas' need to find visual as well as musical means of expression found him back in Wolverhampton in the early 90's, collaborating with friends on an art studio project.

Looking for a way out of their industrialised zoo, and inspired by Francis Bacon, they set up the artificial environment of New Atlantis Productions, filling a disused building with kinetic art, silver leopards and aerial photos of where they lived. Against this chaotic art background, in his self constructed studio with its indoor rainforest, Jas put together his own, unique musical environment bringing together Apple Macs, Marshall stacks, art and rock 'n 'roll, light and shade, metal guru-isms and organic truisms to paint a reflective sound picture of his 21st century cusp experiences.

Playing all the instruments himself, he poured Brit TV Sci-fi, B-Movies, Mondrian, Orwell, HG Wells, animal liberation, philosophy and fun into the melting pot and came up with the set of vaulting, cataclysmic future-soul, astral rock anthems which comprise his post Bowie, post Grunge, post Impressionist and preternaturally excellent debut album The Boy With The X-Ray Eyes.

"The way I see music is I create it, I feel it and then throw it out there and it's finished", says Jas. "If people want to buy into Babylon Zoo and buy into the whole perspective that's behind it. it's there. If they don't and they just want to see the fascia, then they can just see that, and that's just as important. It is five dimensional music. there are different aspects, and you can see through them and find different things in them. At the same time, the main reason for doing it is to be successful."

Source: by Roger Morton
 
Meaning of "BZ"
Meaning of Babylon Zoo
Quote from Jas Mann:

I think it's part positive and part negative, which is what I basically went for. Like any great film, I think the title of the piece sets a sort of common ground, a philosophy of how the film sort of moves on. I mean, I deal a lot with evolution, and I deal a lot with us now, and what we were in the past and what we will be in the future, and in that whole futuristic sense of writing.

The word "Babylon," I wanted to use that because it existed before Egyptian times as a paradise where everything was free, everybody was equal, and the word "Zoo," which is maybe society now, this geometric concrete jungle that we live in. This is us enslaved within our boxes. You know, our car, our home, our office. We live in boxes every single hour of the day. You deal with the two, how we evolved from paradise to a supposed modernist paradise, but is it? That's the sort of feel that I was trying to get at with the name. **


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