Was a time, children, when the Eighties were just a-borning and the sample was not yet king, when live musicians played on hip-hop records; when you might actually hear a guitar solo wailing away beneath the later verses of a 12″ rap single; when the dopest beats were created not just by sorting through massive DJ crates, but by kids who would catch a ride out to Englewood to jam for hours in the little firetrap studio of Sugar Hill Records; when, as legend tells us, drummer and programmer Keith LeBlanc— — red-eyed and exhausted from recording all night — found himself banging on the studio water-cooler and chanting It’s like a jungle, sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under; when Doug Wimbish was slaving together effects units to elicit unearthly growls from his P-Bass. White and black, yin and yang, experimental and mainstream. Wimbish would later bring the funk to Living Colour and Rolling Stones, and LeBlanc would go deep into the club-dub underground. But was a time, o best beloved, the center held and it all came together in the icy tension and explosive release of “New York New York” and “The Message.” And it was a time of legends. – JF


Posted in Bands | Posted on 2011-01-20 06:12:25 by klb | Permalink