Industrial Big Beat Revival

Remember Jack Dangers? AKA Meat Beat Manifesto, the best breaks finder on the planet? The guy that's been doing it since all the musicians he influenced were pissing their diapers?

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Dec 1 2002, 12:00am


Remember Jack Dangers? AKA Meat Beat Manifesto, the best breaks finder on the planet? The guy that’s been doing it since all the musicians he influenced were pissing their diapers? In case you don’t remember, Jack was/is a soft-spoken British transplant to California who got into sound archeology in the mid-80s and changed it forever.

Meat Beat started as the prototypical industrial dance band, with scary sounds and gargantuan beats that made you feel like the apocalypse was neigh. On early tracks like “Suck” and “Strap Down,” Jack and then-partner Jonny Stephens literally defined a genre that took control of the end of the 80s, beating that rotten decade’s fucking ass out of the door in a hail of sirens and psychosis-inducing samples.

Meat Beat then created a truly major milestone of breaks-based electronica in 1989 with the seminal Storm The Studio. The influence of this record cannot be overestimated. Without it, the music of everyone from Nine Inch Nails to the Chemical Brothers to Fatboy Slim just wouldn’t be the same. Meat Beat kept coming through the 90s, too, always pushing and experimenting.

Meat Beat are back again with R.U.O.K.?, a more spacious and minimal Beat, totally inspired by something called the EMS Synthi 100—the Holy Grail for pasty-faced analog fetishists. “There were 29 of them made in the early 70s,” Jack enthuses. “Mine’s the only fully working one in the world. I’d been after it for eight years.” That’s nice, Jack.

With big beat, breaks music, and instrumental hip hop recently slipping dangerously into car-commercial/frat-boy territory (and the much prayed-for industrial revival yet to happen), Jack is about to hook us up. And assuming everything goes well, we may even forgive him for inspiring The Crystal Method.
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