In 1999 British musician tem produced an album of instrumental music to welcome his newborn son Jack into the world. Originally the intended audience for this album was just one, although later a small group of friends were given copies. The project took hold and tem resolved to make an album a year for Jack's birthday. This is the first full release of music taken from the first 14 'jack tapes'.

"I've presented Jack albums of varying shapes, sizes and quality, made with whatever equipment has been available to me at the time. Some are short and some long, some coherent and some messy, some electronic and some organic.

When I made 'jack 1' I had no idea what 'jack 15' might be like. At the time of writing this I'm finding that out. I still have no idea what 'jack 20' will sound like but I look forward to getting there." - tem

The music is diaristic. Sometimes sharp; sometimes hazy. Sometimes melancholy; sometimes exuberant. It is always highly personal, a family album. When compiling jacktapes chronological order was passed over in favour of something more speculative. The tracks leap from one point in time to another like an enthusiastic conversation.

With the relationship between father and son as its central narrative, jacktapes covers a multitude of themes from parenthood to memory. With deft lightness, this album invites us to consider - why do we make music? Who do we make music for? Why do we listen to music?

The contents of this record started life as a gift. Over the past fifteen years none of that sense of generosity has diminished. This is music to take time over.

Joshua WF Thomson - 2014


the making of

The initial decision to make an album a year for my son's birthday was a natural one for me. I thought of it at the time (and still do) as akin to knitting a scarf or sewing a quilt for a loved one. I liked to imagine Jack as a grown man one day picking a tape off the shelf that I had made him for his fifth birthday and giving it a listen.

Listening back to all the editions to compile this record has been a surprising and sometimes emotional experience. Some of them I hadn't heard in years and they were often different to how I had filed them in my memory. In some cases the music felt like it could have been made by a different person. As well as the central focus of Jack the influence of other people and major life events could be felt at different points, something that I hadn't anticipated when I started out.

In some cases the tracks that were finally chosen are representative of the 'jacktapes' they're taken from, in others they're not. Rather than being too respectful to the sources it was important to try and compile a record that would work on it's own terms. I hope that's been successful. It's an unexpected and very happy occurrence that as well as those original 'jacktapes' Jack will now have a real vinyl record to pick off the shelf whenever the mood takes him.

tem - 2014

release information

Featuring contributions from:


12" pink vinyl



HK$ 150.00