Wow, ten years flies by when you’re having fun, influencing the course of nations, and taking out the trash and brushing your teeth and stuff. Ten years ago I got married, was still in my 30s, had no idea what a “blog” was, and was putting the final touches on The Encyclopedia of Record Producers, including a lengthy phone interview with one of my favorite electronic-based producer/artists, Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto.
A couple of weeks ago (more time flying) my lovely, charming, and talented wife Dawn and I had the pleasure of busting out of our daily routines long enough to head up to Cleveland Heights to take in a Meat Beat Manifesto multimedia extravagazmo show at the Grog Shop (damn, they moved the place down the block since the last time we were there – insert more musing on time), a musty, boingy environment of compact space and expansive sound, and to meet Jack in person for a video chat at the back of his luxe, if lived in, tour bus.
The tour, the band’s first in several years, which wrapped up in Texas over the weekend, was commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the first Meat Beat tour and the release of their latest ripping, beat bunching studio album Autoimmune, and featured Dangers on various samplers, synths, keys and vocals; Ben Stokes, working stunning, kinetic visual magic on a pair of video screens dominating the smallish stage; Mark Pistel orchestrating the miasmal experience; and Lynn Farmer on live drums, ramming the organic through the electronic.
The Meats had the hipster crowd whipped to a gyrating, undulating frenzy as the video and audio melded into a tangible puree of experiential groovitude unique in my personal experience. Meat Beat’s In Dub 5.1 Surround and the side project Tino Vision DVDs are worthy representations of the group’s live experience and are highly recommended.
It is one of the great mysteries of life that such a cheerfully mild, reticent, and inward a fellow as small town England (Swindon)-to-Bay Area transplant Dangers could be the epicenter of such a fount of fervent, facial, and frenetic, dub-based funkitude, but thus it has been for over twenty years and may it continue for another twenty hence.
Following is the interview with Dangers, broken up into bite sized units for your perusal and edification.