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The minimalistic funk of New York’s Liquid Liquid consisted almost entirely of percussion grooves with a smattering of bass, plus congas, marimba, and the occasional vocal thrown in. The quartet consisted of Scott Hartley (drums, percussion, talking drum), Richard McGuire (bass, percussion, piano, guitar), Salvatore Principato (percussion, vocals), and Dennis Young (percussion, marimba, roto toms).

Liquid Liquid laid the groundwork for post-rock bands like Tortoise and Ui more than a decade before the fact — stripped of all excess and artifice, their hypnotically dub-like sound offered a starkly minimalist counterpoint to the prevailingly lush production of the concurrent disco movement, in the process impacting the development of everything from hip-hop to drum’n’bass.

This superbly packaged, 18-track retrospective collects the sum of Liquid Liquid’s official output, recorded between 1981 and 1983, and all things considered, it’s remarkable just how prescient and modern the group’s music really was. Although only the standout, “Cavern” (the basis for the Grandmaster Flash rap classic “White Lines”), is even remotely familiar in any strict sense, the remaining material, with its thickly fluid basslines and circular rhythms, will undoubtedly strike a chord of recognition in anyone versed in the sonic motifs of post-rock and electronica. Ui’s Sasha Frere-Jones is thanked on the sleeve, but in truth he’s the one owing the debt — for all intents and purposes, post-rock (and a whole lot more) starts here.

by Jason Ankeny,

Liquid Liquid-LIQUID LIQUID (1997 comp)
192kbps MP3

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