Thursday, September 13, 2018

Live O.D.: Meat Beat Manifesto Hits COLD WAVES

The cover of Meat Beat Manifesto's Impossible Star

Audio warfare comes to Cold Waves once again.

Tomorrow night at Irving Plaza in NYC and on September 22 at Metro in Chicago, Meat Beat Manifesto returns to the multi-state music festival for the first time in two years. These performances are the latest adventures in a year of renewal for the veteran act. January saw the release of Impossible Star, the first full-length MBM album in nearly eight years. One of the more experimental releases in the group’s 30-year career, the album kicks off with “One” – a single note stretched for nearly three minutes – and gets even more esoteric from there.

Impossible Star was birthed over years of logistical and creative changes for MBM mastermind Jack Dangers. 

“I moved house, for a start,” he says of the album’s long road to release. “There was at least a good three years where I wasn’t able to do as much as I would have wanted. It involved rebuilding the studio, and I had to put everything in storage. The place where I was actually living at that point in Sausalito [California] only had like about 20 percent of my equipment. I wasn’t used to the sound of the room. When I got to the new place, I more or less had to redo everything. That took a good couple of years as well.”

Not surprisingly, Dangers ended up with considerably more material than the album’s 13 tracks.

“I’ve probably got like three albums’ worth of stuff that I could have put out, but I just wanted quality over quantity. I picked what I thought were the right songs and the right album. The other tracks were probably a bit different than this, so I just sort of streamlined it into what it is – mainly because I was using a lot of vocoders. I wanted that sound on almost every track on here.”

In addition to creating innovative sounds under the Meat Beat Manifesto banner, Dangers has built a celebrated career as a producer/remixer. His remix of Tower of Power’s “What Is Hip?” was nominated for a Grammy in 2005, while other artists to receive his unique sonic treatment include Public Enemy, Orbital, Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, Bush and Depeche Mode. In the early ’90s, his remix skills were commissioned by none other than David Bowie. Dangers said he was “gobsmacked” to get an invite to meet Bowie in his hotel room – and then to see a copy of MBM’s 1992 album Satyricon on the legend’s bedside table.

“It was crazy! I liked his music so much and grew up with it. I was just …confused… that he would even be into what I did!”

Meat Beat Manifesto’s history with Chicago dates back to when Wax Trax! licensed 1988’s Storm The Studio and 1990’s Armed Audio Warfare for release in America. Dangers still recalls his early days of touring the US with amazement.  

“When we came over here in ’89 for the first time, it was shock and awe, really. There was a scene, and it was definitely based around Wax Trax! There was a scene everywhere - all over the country. No matter where we went, people came to see our shows, which wasn’t necessarily the case in Britain.”

As MBM’s stops at Cold Waves will surely prove, Dangers still looks forward to sharing his aural escapades with the masses.

“When you walk out on stage and people still respect it and are enjoying the old stuff and the new ones, you can’t help but get inspired to keep on doing it.”

Official Meat Beat Manifesto Website 


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