Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Interesting interview with drummer/producer Keith LeBlanc at The Quietus:

I remember Future Sound of London came into my studio once when I was in London and wanted to pick my brain about [Major Malfunction] and how it was done. I mostly did it with an AMS, a DMX and tape manipulation, and I felt sorry for the guys because they expected me to tell them about all this amazing gear I'd used! I was telling them, 'no no, I was turning tapes backwards, editing them up and then flying them back in'. It wasn't what they expected, because they were telling me that that particular album was their bible. When I did that album, I used to love how with the Beatles albums, a lot of times they would cut tunes together. So I made the whole album like that. And I think that was a real ground-breaker for dance music; it opened up the possibility for doing a lot of different things with dance music.

I still listen to the old Tackhead singles, and LeBlanc's albums Major Malfunction and Stranger Than Fiction, and especially the Gary Clail's Tackhead Sound System remix record Tackhead Tape Time, all the time. The mix of dub, samples, industrial noise, and ultra-hard hip-hop/funk is as potent today as it was in the mid '80s. Despite being stridently political, it hasn't dated at all, because the problems their music addresses—bloated military budgets and imperialist adventurism, urban poverty, a general feeling that the world's sliding down the shitter—haven't gone anywhere, and have indeed probably gotten worse.

Here's my favorite of their tracks from the old days—"Mind at the End of the Tether" from '85:

And here's "What's My Mission Now?" from '86:

Most all their material is out of print now—and their best stuff was 12" only anyhow—but it's out there on blogs, if you want to hear it. And you should. This shit is timeless.

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