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Tackhead is the vanishing point, the vortex, at the end of many years of formative, experimental collaborations between the innovative British producer and mixologist extraordinaire Adrian Sherwood and the American trio of musicians: guitarist Skip McDonald, bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Keith LeBlanc, completed by singer Bernard Fowler.But...Tackhead is back.We write June 2004 and Tackhead is preparing for battle. Keith LeBlanc, Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald and Bernard Fowler will roam the stages again, with (of course) Adrian Sherwood at the knobs of the control tower, ready to blow your mind. Time to take it to another level.The Tackhead saga goes back to the mid-70's, when Wimbish and McDonald, teamed up in the 'disco' boom, when they attained cult success with Wood, Brass & Steel and with such tracks as Push push in the bush from Musique. They first met up with Keith LeBlanc in 1979 on the newly-formed Sugar Hill Records.They soon became the label�s house band, providing backing, both live and on disc, for the ground-breaking Sugar Hill Gang (Rapper's Delight), Grandmaster Flash (The Message) and Melle Mel (White Lines), helping to launch the onslaught of 80's rap. After the demise of Sugar Hill and drawn outlegal wranglings, the three musicians continued to work on various projects. Described by The New York Times as, 'one of todays most extraordinary rhythm sections', they included recordings for the Tommy Boy label.Moving on from the early 80's rap explosion, drummer Keith LeBlanc already released some solo work on Tommyboy Records (Maneuvres, Uh, on the sampler Masters of the Beat); mixing the (now legendary) DMX drumbeats with his own special drumsound. His release No Sell Out featured the cut-up raps of civil rights activist Malcolm X pitched against the infamous DMX drumbeat to acknowledged as the first ever 'sampling record'.Ahead of the time and timeless. LeBlanc's No Sell Out, brought him to the attention of London's dub-master extraordinare and On-U Sound label owner Adrian Sherwood. A foremost producer of reggae in the early 80's, Sherwood began to take his dub methodology to the limit, creating a unique form-distorted media and environmental collages of 'mind' sounds. Michael Williams (a.k.a. Prince Far I) was the spiritual teacher of Adrian Sherwood's art of dub.In 1984, while working on a remix of On-U Sound act Akabu's Watch yourself for Tommy Boy records, he met Keith LeBlanc. After a productive meeting between Sherwood and LeBlanc, McDonald and Wimbish later joined them in London to begin work on a new project which they christened, Fats Comet. LeBlanc's beat, pitched with Sherwood's dub methodology, taken it to the limit (and far beyond...), creating unique form distorted media where the heavily distorted sound of McDonald's guitar and Wimbish's funky bass art made things complete.As LeBlanc sums it up, "We started Fats Comet as a studio experiment. The stuff we considered being 'non-commercial' got stuck on Adrian Sherwood's label and Doug Wimbish came up with the name Tackhead; which is New Jersey slang for homeboy." After releasing a couple of 12", like the vast underground club and science fiction dancehall classics Mind at the End of the Tether and What's my Mission Now? Tackhead already gained a lot of credits and popularity, especiallly among those who tied up to the industrial virus. An album was inevitable and Gary Clail's Tackhead Sound System's Tackhead Tape Time was bound to be a classic from the very day of its release.In the meantime, they also found the time to back former Popgroup main man Mark Stewart as The Maffia; a collaboration which resulted in probably some of the most deranged hip-mutant-funk-metal-dub-hop records ever to be made. 'Tackhead in the area!' became the common chant after the 12" The Game


 

Posted in Bands | Posted on 2011-01-20 06:23:18 by klb | Permalink