Who is Tino? Tino is one funky-ass action figure of a Cuban drummer. According to the Tino Corp site,
- Tino Corp. is a record label dedicated to curating unique beats and sounds that are not available from any other source. It is also the main outlet for Tino’s own work. As CEO and principal artist, Tino has launched the label with a series of instructional albums called Tino’s Breaks, which teach a new style of drumming with every installment.
Tino resides in his native Cuba, but has made some rare appearances on U.S. soil to record material for the series of Tino’s Breaks, scheduled to be released on the label. Label co- founders Ben Stokes and Jack Dangers teamed up with producer Mike Powell to produce the Tino’s breaks series.
If you are a sampler, a DJ, or just a funky fresh individual, the Tino Breaks series is for you.
The new release, Tino’s Breaks 6 Hallowe’en Dub arrives just in time for the spooky season, full of whomping bass lines, booming kick drum, and festive Halloween sound samples. Having a Haloween dance party? Rock this mother ’til the bats come home to roost.
Mysterious miniature Latin manikin Tino aside, I have been a huge fan of Jack Dangers since the very first Meat Beat Manifesto release back in the stone ages of electro-industrial beats. Jack just opened a “sound sculpture” at the Pack Place Gallery in North Carolina:
- “Microtable” by Jack Dangers
Description: “Microtable” is a sound sculpture by Jack Dangers, the veteran composer and sound sculptor behind Meat Beat Manifesto.
As music as a constant backdrop, Jack is interested in using modern materials to create abstract sculpture for an society driven by need and devices. An avid record collector and driven by musical experimentation, the microtable combines both interests into a highly recognizable sculpture created to entertain not confuse. The Microtable is part of the Appliance Series.
I interviewed and profiled Dangers a few years back.
As the driving force behind Meat Beat Manifesto, Jack Dangers has explored and mapped uncharted terrain between hip-hop, industrial, trance, jungle and ambient music. Nimbly balancing art and the dance floor, Dangers is one of the few to have mastered studio technology as an organic instrument. In the process, he has created some stunning tracks: the cockney Public Enemy punch of “God O.D.,” the loping groove of “Psyche-Out,” the awesome headlong industrial funk of “Dogstar Man/Helter Skelter,” the churning space jam “Mindstream”; and one of the finest electronic-based albums of all time, Subliminal Sandwich. Dangers also has worked with political trip- hoppers Consolidated and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and is an important remixer.
He was born John Corrigan in 1965 in Swindon, England, a small town best known as the home of art rockers XTC. Dangers was interested in electronic music from an early age, reveling in the experimentalism of Kraftwerk, early Human League, and Cabaret Voltaire. “I liked the idea of experimenting and taking sounds to extremes; that has been completely ingrained in me,” he says.
Never a trained musician, Dangers picked up the bass because, as he says, “I found I could play it. I am not from a musical family at all, but from a very working-class, normal background. I have no qualifications and I can’t do anything else. I sold my soul to music when I was 15, decided that’s what I would do and always knew that I would be able to do it, even if I couldn’t play anything.”
Dangers’ defining moment came when he aided XTC (as a go-fer) in rehearsal for a 1980 tour. Fascinated with music making, Dangers obtained one of the first home four-track recorders and began experimenting with sound in earnest in the early-80s.
In 1986, he released his first record with the decidedly techno-poppish Perennial Divide. Longing for a more experimental avenue of expression, Dangers released beat-heavy singles “I Got the Fear” and “Strap Down” in 1987 as Meat Beat Manifesto. The next year, Dangers left Perennial Divide and began
performing with a multimedia extravaganza of up to 13 members – replete with video, dancers and elaborate costumes.
That same year, Meat Beat combined necessity with ideology when most of the material for their planned first album was destroyed in a fire. Instead of despairing, the industrious Dangers took four surviving songs and created two divergent mixes of each, “trying to take things to their logical conclusions” and creating the first non-reggae remix album in the process (collections of ‘dub” mixes of reggae songs date to the ’70s).
Meat Beat’s artistic breakthrough came with release of the “God O.D.” single in late-88. “God” kicks in with a defiant drum beat worthy of Public Enemy, shifts into overdrive with Dangers’ chant-sing vocals and continues with kitchen-sink samples spicing the brew. Dance floor denizens the world over responded to the body-jacking beat, Dangers’ percussive vocal delivery and all the bells and whistles.
Though always funkier and more varied than traditional industrial groups Front 242 and Skinny Puppy, Meat Beat was identified with the industrial crowd through its affiliation with the Play It Again Sam label, and song titles like “Genocide,” “Repulsion,” and “Kick That Man” from their 1990 disc, Armed Audio Warfare.
The quality groove has continued apace. 99% is a superior collection highlighted by “Psyche-Out” (“This is what it’s all about/Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”) and the 8 1/2 minutes of heaven and hell rammed together and chopped up as “Dogstar Man/Helter Skelter.”
The medley percolates on a fast hip-hop beat (now we call it jungle), underlined with Dangers’ dancing bass line and drilled home with a penetrating keyboard riff. This time, Dangers’ chant-sing is distorted into a dangerous buzz of warnings and incantations. Midway through, the beat is redoubled, the keyboard is sampled into a percussion line of its own and the whole mess explodes in a hallucinatory orgasm of chopped beats and brain parts. No one had made music like this before.
Satyricon continues the excellence, but heads off in more melodic, techno-and trance-based directions, shedding the confinement of the “industrial” label. The double CD Subliminal Sandwich finds Dangers with assorted guests and confirms his position among the finest electronic musician/composers.
Sandwich leads the listener through a sonic tour of the ether on a radio ship picking up the most interesting sound tidbits floating about, bouncing around and intermingling with each other. These bits of raga, trance, ambient, trip hop and jungle are invisibly sewn together in Dangers’ magical, limpid mix. Seldom have 140 minutes gone by more quickly and soulfully, or registered more deeply.
Dangers wrote all of the music save for Keith Dobson’s ghostly “Asbestos, Lead, Asbestos,” and recorded the whole thing with a clarity and precision that allows us so deep into the mix that we fall in and become happily lost there, riding the groove, picking up signals. That all of this seems so alive and human attests to Danger’s artistry.
“I think it’s really important to mix technology with an organic aesthetic,” explains Dangers, “and not be controlled by the machines.”
Perhaps not surprisingly for a man who finds the organic in the soul of the machine, the favorite of his 15,000 records is the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Dangers is not an artist driven by pain. “I love what I do; it’s the best job in the world, and I work hard to be able to do it well,” says the San Francisco resident. “I got what I wanted and I am happy.”
New Meat Beat in a couple of weeks! I await with breathless antici ….. pation.