flashing for money

what else are you going to do at the weekend other than sit in from the cold and the rain listening to good mixes? the first comes from one of the greats, grandmaster flash, live at the metamorphose festival in japan last september.

Much like the mythological Trojan War, the beginnings of hip hop music are shrouded in fable and legend. We do know this much however – Grandmaster Flash was there. He not only pioneered the hip hop style of DJing, but he invented many of the foundational techniques of the trade. Back-cueing, beat juggling, and record scratching just to name a few. Combined with his rap group, The Furious Five, Flash went on to massive early 80s chart success on the Sugarhill label. Singles like The Message and Scorpio broke new musical ground, not only in the hip hop world, but also in the burgeoning electronic scene. Flash kept active throughout the 80s, releasing records both as solo artist and with the Furious Five. Since then, Flash has gone on to DJ across the globe, playing his infamous blend of party classics – all delivered with his signature cut-and-paste style. Listen here as he rocks the main stage at Metamorphose in Japan.

while i was checking that out i came across another equally awesome but slightly less well known act, the seminal new york band liquid liquid, this time live from the main stage at primavera in barcelona. they were undoubtedly the highlight of this year’s electric picnic, and hearing them perform bellhead live will forever be one of my most treasured musical experiences. many thanks to red bull music academy for both sets.

The year is 1979, and five young guys are free-flow jamming, in a Hispanic neighbourhood in downtown Manhattan, N.Y.C. The vocalist of this group is Salvatore Principato. By day, he works in a toy store (with Kim Gordon). By night, he’s dropping his vocal inflections onto the rhythms of his group, who go by the name Liquid Liquid. Their own brand of ‘body music’ began to be heard not only alongside bands such as Suicide and ESG, but also in the pioneering sets of DJs like Afrika Bambaataa and Larry Levan, most famously being sampled by Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious 5 on White Lines forever putting their name in hip hop’s history books. And without changing track for new audiences, the band played on. Less than twenty five songs later, Liquid Liquid faded from the scene again, only to be rediscovered centuries later when their sense of all out rhythm once again fit the mood of New York city and folks from The Rapture to practically the whole DFA Records crew. This live set from Primavera Sound 2010 shows them vital as ever.

Grandmaster Flash – Main Stage – Live at Metamorphose 2010, Japan
Liquid Liquid – Main Stage – Live at Primavera Sound 2010

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