Meat Beat Manifesto
I came down a little hard on Jack Dangers last album as Meat Beat Manifesto (last years R.U.O.K.), simply because I felt that it treaded the same ground over and over too much. Granted, there were some hugely wicked beats (I wouldn't expect any less), but it lacked the creativity and variety of excellent releases of his like Subliminal Sandwich and Actual Sounds And Voices. One thing I'll always admit, though, is his original innovation and influence on a whole slew of artists. It was clear back in 1989 that he dropped his seminal Storm The Studio debut release, and although it sounds a bit dated today (almost 15 years later), it still stands up as a triumph of a release that mixes a bit of electronic, a bit of industrial, and even a bit of instrumental hip-hop into a heavy, heady mix.
For those uninitiated with Meat Beat Manifesto, the first track one needs to hear from Dangers is the classic "I Got The Fear." Rumbling along with one of the most chunky funky drummer offshoots I've ever heard, you could trace everything from stuff on Tigerbeat6 to instrumental hip-hop on Definitive Jux back to it. Apparently, some other people had the same thought, because Storm The Studio was not only re-released this year (the second time), but this slew of 12 remixed tracks from just about all genres dropped as well.
The disc opens with an M.B.M. versus D.H.S mix of "Cease To Exist," and it's really just an excuse to bomb the absolute shit out the aforementioned beat from "I Got The Fear" while updating it with some modern sonics and other random sound bites. As with any such a remix compilation, the artists who tweak things the most are the ones that I find the most interesting. Eight Frozen Modules (aka Ken Gibson) swings wildly between textural sonics and intricate beat programming while spinning the original samples out of control while High Priest of Antipop Consortium turns in an absolutely stunning metallic dub meltdown that takes small samples from the original and renders them virtually unrecognizable.
Proving that I am an open-minded listener, I even think that the Merzbow mix of "God O.D." is one of the best on the collection, a noisy, clanging epic version of the original that mangles sound sources but keeps the acidic underpinning beat fairly intact for a slowly spiraling mindbender. Of course, there are a couple artists (Twilight Circus Dub Sound System and DJ Swamp) who take original tracks and simply trick them out even further in the same direction, not really moving them in any new directions, but giving them a new earth-shaking foundation. If you're a fan of Meat Beat Manifesto, you'll most likely enjoy a good portion of the reworkings, but if you're looking to get started somewhere, go for the original album or nearly any of his other releases.