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Liquid Liquid

Lifespan: 1980 - 1983

Related: art rock - 99 Records - New York music - No Wave - dance music

Liquid Liquid (1997) - Liquid Liquid [Amazon.com [FR] [DE] [UK]

Liquid Liquid was a New York City band that was active from 1980 to 1983. Their track "Cavern", from the Optimo EP, was sampled (actually played by the Sugar Hill house band) on Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel's "White Lines (Don't Do It)". Since the bandís inception in 1980, the sounds of Liquid Liquid have haunted the clubs. The original records were pressed in very limited quantities on the 99 label, and can now fetch high prices. Though the pressings were small the impact the music has made is lasting and far reaching. The first three EPs, plus live material, were reissued in 1997 by Grand Royal (US) and Mo' Wax (UK). Their music was essentially groove based, influenced by the many different sources, funk, dub reggae of the 1970s, and primarily punk in its do it yourself garage approach. -- [1]

New York No Wave

Along with labelmates ESG, Liquid Liquid exemplified the minimalist funk, no wave movement that swept New York's music underground in 1981. The band's impressive five-song debut (one side recorded live) fuses metalphones with congas, marimba and other percussive gadgetry to create hypnotic urban-tribal funk. Except for the vocals, that goal is realized. Successive Reflexes also works, although full-scale production values alter the previously skeletal sound.

Optimo--four more songs on another 12-inch--continues the rhythmic intensity, and is specially notable for "Cavern," an insidious and lengthy bass/drums groove that was later adopted as the musical basis for Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel's "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)."

How I found them

On Friday, 6 Oct 1995, someone on the Detroit techno list asks:

"I know this ain't exactly 313, but what exactly is Liquid Liquid?? I have some of their tracks which are on the "Ultimate Breaks and Beats" albums which I'm sure we all have.. for those even more clueless than me, these guys have been sampled in probably dozens of tracks, especially their cut "UFO"..

BMG (bmg@freenet.grfn.org) answers

"You are confusing Liquid Liquid with ESG. ESG, 3 sisters from the Bronx and their cousin Tito. Their classic EP that gets sampled all the time is produced by Martin Hannet c. 1981. It has the Paradise Garage classic "Moody" (The basis of Chip E's "Like This") and "UFO" (that Hip Hop artists sample at 33 like PE).

It was a brilliant era of underground music with some great bands like Konk, James Chance, A Certain Ratio, Medium Medium, Gang of Four. That whole abject funk groove with post punk production. I just love it.

The bassline for Cavern was the basis of "White Lines". The prefered track off that EP is "Optimo", heard most recently in DJ Sneak and Carl Craigs "remake uno"."


Liquid Liquid "Liquid Liquid" (1981)
Scott Hartley- Drums, Percussion
Richard McGuire-Bass, Percussion, Guitar, Melodica
Salvatore Pricipato- Vocals, Percussion (& Bass on Rubbermiro)
Dennis Young- Mirimba, Roto Toms, Percussion
Al Diaz- Metalphones
R. Edson- Trumpet
Bill Kleinsmith- Congas
Master Engineer- Howie Weinberg
Sound Advice- Bruce Tovsky
Cover Design-Richard McGuire
Special Thanks to-Ken Man, Ken Sitz, Ed Bahlman
http://www.rmcguire.com/music/about6.html Richard McGuire

Grand Royal compilation

  • Liquid Liquid - Liquid Liquid [Amazon US]
    Most of the groundbreaking no-wave funk released in the early 1980s on the 99 label is in limbo, but Grand Royal has seen fit to reissue three Liquid Liquid EPs plus live tracks. Who were Liquid Liquid? A bunch of white art-school types, whose "Cavern" formed the basis for "White Lines"--the following lawsuit sank both 99 and Sugarhill Records. This EP is as much Steve Reich as James Brown as Fela Kuti and sums ups most of New York City's musical obsessions of the period. Minimalist bass, trance-like vibes and occasional melodica and you're left wondering why anyone would choose to listen to acid-jazz, when we have godhead such as this. --D. Strauss for amazon.com 1. Optimo 2. Cavern 3. Scraper 4. Out 5. Lock Groove (In) 6. Lock Groove (Out) 7. Push 8. Zero Leg 9. Eyes Sharp 10. GroupMeGroup 11. New Walk 12. Lub Dupe 13. Bell Head 14. Rubbermiro 15. Lock Groove (Live) 16. GroupMeGroup (Live) 17. Bell Head (Live) 18. Push (Live)

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