Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Return Return of Liquid Liquid

New York dance music pioneers Liquid Liquid have resurfaced after 25 years of dark obscurity. The band existed briefly in the early 1980's as part of a brief but fervent Lower East Side scene, where they played alongside other funk-inspired post-punk bands like ESG and Konk, playing a strange kind of low-budget dance music built out of clacking percussion, rumbling drums, roaming bass, marimba, and indecipherable vocals. Driving but gloomy, Liquid Liquid's music seems to echo something of the New York that spawned it: a decrepit urban metropolis, threatening to regress to a state of savagery.

Liquid Liquid's simultaneous breakthrough and breakdown came when Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel hired the Sugar Hill house band to recreate the infectious two-note bassline of Liquid Liquid's song "Cavern" for their hit "White Lines." The song became one of the most famous of early hip-hop, but before Liquid Liquid could successfully claim royalties, Sugar Hill claimed bankruptcy. The band went their separate ways in 1983, and the band's entire back catalogue is now back in print for the first time on a collection called "Slip in and Out of Phenomenon." Liquid Liquid are currently touring Great Britain and will hopefully make their way back to these shores in the near future.

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