Friday, May 27, 2005

Funky Friday With An Electro Pioneer

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I've been on kind of an electronic binge around here lately so I'm sticking with that theme for today's post. Jack Dangers has been making electronic music for some 20 years now, most famously as Meat Beat Manifesto. I've been a huge fan for years, from the industrial flavored early years to the breakthrough records - Satyricon and Subliminal Sandwich, right up to last year's ...In Dub, a great set of reworks from 1992's RUOK?. The man has been a huge influence on electronica over the years, and in my opinion doesn't get half of the attention or the accolades he deserves. This week brought the newest MBM release, At The Center. It's on Thirsty Ear Records, a label that has risen to prominence over the last couple of years as home to some bright young talent in the modern jazz scene. They have also encouraged their artists to experiment musically with some of today's electronic talents - the "Blue Series" of recordings. There have been collaborations with Spring Heel Jack and DJ Spooky, and now Jack Dangers. Here he collaborates with Craig Taborn (grand piano, Fender Rhodes and assorted other keys), flautist Peter Gordon and drummer extraordinaire Dave King (a Minneapolis native who plays in jazz bands Happy Apple and The Bad Plus and also plays in low key electro-pop act Halloween, Alaska). The end result is a fusion of the dubtastic electronic grooves of MBM and some very cool modern jazz licks. It's tight and pretty damn funky, and there are also a couple of more experimental pieces on the record. Here are a couple of tracks that stand out to me - Flute Thang features, yes, flutes. And some pretty fat beats. Musica Classica is more of the same but filled out with some very lovely piano playing. Jack is also taking Meat Beat out on the road here in the US for the first time in 7 years, where he'll be joined by Consolidated's Mark Pistel, drummer Lynn Farmer and audio visual dude Ben Stokes. All the dates are listed here. Go and see 'em - I have 2 or 3 times over the years and they don't disappoint!

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