Meat Beat Manifesto (aka Jack Dangers) has been a pioneer of dub technology for nearly a decade, as evidenced by the cut-and-splice nature of the band's own industrial dance music and a horde of remixes for other musicians, including: Public Enemy, Nine Inch Nails, the Orb, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, and many more.
Cross-genre influences have always been a keynote in MBM's music, blending industrial, hip hop, Jamaican and rock sensibilities into a fusion that becomes a unique category unto itself.
MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO: Storm the Studio R.M.X.S. (CD on Tino Corp Records)
"Storm the Studio" was Meat Beat Manifesto's debut album in 1989. In 2003, this CD was reissued in tandem with this edition that features 73 minutes of remixes.
Mixologists include: Eight Frozen Modules, Twilight Circus Dub Sound System, DJ Spooky, Jonah Sharp (aka Space Time Continuum), the Mellowtrons, High Priest (from Antipop Consortium), the Opus, Frank Bretschneider, Masami Akita (aka Merzbow), DJ Swamp, Norscq, Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner), and Jack Dangers along with Ben Stokes.
The primary source music is a super-compressed fusion of industrial, hip hop and agro rock, consisting of megabeats, vicious electronics, hybrid sampling, and urgent vocals.
The remixes escalate these hyper tunes to even greater complexity, introducing a plethora of enhancements that often result in finished products that bear little resemblance to the original tracks.
Frenetic rhythms adopt wavery dispositions as treatments overwhelm the basic sonic templates, transforming aggression into sinuously flavored structures. Electronic overdubs increase the material's density into a maelstrom of dueling sounds that conspire more than combat, producing a lush forest of synthetic growths thrashing to the beat of a classic drummer. Sampled vocal snippets swim in this tempo-laden soup like drowning fish crying out for attention. Signature riffs refuse to be blurred by additional augmentation, shining like vibrant beacons through the miasma of industrial beats and squealing electronics.
Despite these mutations, the songs retain a familiar quality, albeit immersed in lavish embellishments. According to one of the vocal threads: "In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove, and from this groove came the groove of all grooves." This statement holds true today. Even buried beneath a host of alterations and treatments, Jack Dangers' "grooves" are as timely and appealing as they were when he generated them years ago. True genius cannot be obfuscated.
MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO: In Dub (Stereo) CD on Lakeshore Records)
This release from 2004 offers 57 minutes of wildly fresh remixes by Jack Dangers of material from MBM's "R.U.O.K.?" release from last year. Further enhancing these remixes is the Bay area's DJ Collage, whose toast vocal stylings inject a pronounced Jamaican flair to the industrial hip hop music.
Beats-per-minute abound in this music, as does engaging melodies designed to compel the most stoic lounge lizard onto the dancefloor. Utilizing samples from every source imaginable, Dangers constructs tuneage that combines overt electronics with found sounds, producing a dazzling cohesion that flows like liquid machinery.
E-perc flourishes like a nest of writhing cybernetic snakes whose coils entwine the melodies with complex rhythms. Electronics and bass hiss and growl amid these beat nests, fleshing the rhythms out with intriguing melodies that wobble and bounce with the exuberance of the street. Samples from radio broadcasts add an airwave quality to the songs, bridging old school and modern moods to create a timeless quality. Dangers' production wizardry blends everything together into a smooth flow that is often difficult to believe, so divergent are the sources.
Despite the profusion of jarring elements compressed into these tunes, the melodies are amazingly coherent--and remarkably appealing.
In this instance, these remixes are crafted with the intention of deviating wildly from the original versions. The result is music that bears only rudimentary semblance to the original material.
This release is also available as a 5.1 Surround Sound DVD which includes visual interpretations of the music.
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