Meat Beat Manifesto - Original Fire

It seems like only yesterday that Hugh Crowther, the lighting engineer for a band I was in called The Bolshoi, got an unusual assignment - to take a band called Meat Beat Manifesto to the USA and tour with them in the capacity of tour manager and lighting engineer.

I remember looking at the list of equipment that would accompany this mystery troupe to the US and wondering what's with all the costumes.

Immediately prior to their departure I dropped by his house to meet them and what a nice bunch they were. I also listened to a cassette of demo material that Hugh lent me while they were gone and remember wishing I had gone as well.

I still don't know what it is exactly that they do with music that makes them one of the pioneers of whatever genre they represent, and I'm certainly not going to attempt to disseminate here, so with the rock roots bit out of the way I give you Original Fire by Meat Beat Manifesto, an absolutely delightful collection of whizz bang electronic music grooves that left me wanting more.

From the CD opener, Helter Skelter 97, through to the Orb remix of Radio Babylon, there's an energy present that in many ways epitomizes the 90's electronic dance movement, an energy that utilizes drum loops without getting bogged down in the military precision stuff that de-humanized much eighties electro, and an intelligent use of simple but highly complex lead line riffs that are ultimately the essential ingredient of every dance floor hit.

Rating: 912,031 (out of a possible 1,000,000)