Who are these people you hear on CDs, who tell us things in stiff 1950s accents about parking tickets, hair loss and the universe? "This is a journey into sound," from a 1961 Decca LP called A Journey Into Phase Four Stereo, became a classic sample for MARRS on Pump Up the Volume, and star VJs Hexstatic start their mix CD with a similar promise: "An adventure into the cosmic unknown... A realm of new sights, new sounds, new sensations". Cue the sound of a B-movie spaceship on a string. Unfortunately, the slice-and-dice format, as perfected by Coldcut, is a bit too tired to deliver on such cosmic promises. But you would struggle to come away from Listen and Learn without a few favourites from the 19 tracks (eg The Message, Know How, Funky Kingston) and some great mix moments (Ike and Tina Turner's Funky Mule being stretched until it turns into David Holmes's vintage-sounding bank robbery beat, Rip Rip). Listen and you will also learn how the sound of a porn soundtrack can be made to resemble a busy farmyard.
Pascal Wyse is a composer and Guardian contributor and a former Guardian audio producer