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as of 11/24/2020 (Details)
Meat Beat Manifesto mastermind Jack Dangers once proclaimed, "I always aim for the future. I never want an album to sound like the last one." Although a seemingly uncomplicated statement, remaining true to his aspirations has presented an interesting conundrum for Dangers. MBM do have an easily identifiable sound. The template is built from acoustic (or at least acoustic-sounding) percussion colored with hip-hop rhythms, sternum-rattling bass beats, and entrancing raps and vocal samples--with a creative precedent of sounds over melody. With such a signature style, the challenge lies not so much in aiming for the future but in creating albums that are distinctive from one another. Actual Sounds and Voices meets the challenge by employing a little convention. Unlike previous sample-heavy albums, this recording depends more on live performance. Dangers invited saxophonist and bass clarinetist Bennie Maupin (who played on Miles Davis's legendary Bitches Brew and was also a member of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters) and synthesizer whiz Pat Gleeson (also in the Headhunters) into the studio to record a freestyle jam session. Dangers picked the highlights and molded them into Meat Beat songs. The result is a ferociously danceable all-out-funk-acid-jazz-techno-fusion affront in the face of any misguided soul who thinks electronic music has no heart. Aiming for the future? Meat Beat Manifesto is the future. --Beth Bessmer
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