parody by nacrowe
i was talking to someone at the radio station the other day and the subject of HENRY ROLLINS comment about NU METAL in the AMERICAN HARDCORE (SONY PICTURES, 2006) documentary came up, which paraphrased was something to effect of that the way in which those songs are STRUCTURED with the BIG GUITAR RIFF payoff after a whispered DOWNTEMPO PRE-CHORUS was something he would have absolutely been into as a teenager. it got me thinking of what that specific experience was for me of being confronted with a band or genre that up my first listen absolutely instantaneously defined my experience as a young person.
for me that was first coming across the ENGLISH ELECTRONIC MUSIC of THE PRODIGY and specifically their STELLAR THE FAT OF THE LAND (XL, 1997) album during my middle school years in NIGERIA. i can still recall that WIDE-EYED surge of adrenaline when that initial MASSIVE BASS DROP hits in the intro for "SMACK MY BITCH UP." in less than a minute of my first listen to a THE PRODIGY song i was hooked. it was beyond anything i had come across in the more FORMULAIC world of ROCK MUSIC and just seemed intently designed to make adolescents like myself go completely MENTAL. same with other singles like "BREATHE" and "FIRESTARTER," but for me "SMACK MY BITCH UP" is the obvious highlight. other tracks i absolutely adored off that album were "MINDFIELDS," "FUEL MY FIRE" and especially "NARAYAN," which all seemed to have an INTERIORITY about them, as if they were meant as a mantra for an induced COLLECTIVE MIND-SPACE and SHARED CONSCIOUSNESS. i have never taken MIND-EXPANDING drugs, but that concept of shared emotional INTIMACY through RHYTHM and DANCE made immediate sense upon my introduction to THE PRODIGY.
fast forward a few years to high school and i am now at a boarding school in MASSACHUSETTS. somewhere along the way i obtained the preceding album MUSIC FOR THE JILTED GENERATION (XL, 1994) which is songwriting-wise is less traditionally structured and more EXPANSIVE with harder-hitting UPTEMPO beats, COMPLEX POLYRHYTHMS and OBSCURE SONIC TEXTURES. i was on a break staying with my uncle in BROOKLYN, who was then still working in lower MANHATTAN, and i was supposed to meet him somewhere near the WORLD TRADE CENTER for lunch before heading up to LINCOLN CENTER, where a charter bus was waiting to take me back to boarding school. needless to say i missed the lunch and barely made the bus. my experience was that i was listening to HARD-CHARGING MUSIC FOR THE JILTED GENERATION tracks like "BREAK & ENTER," "VOODOO PEOPLE," "POISON," "THEIR LAW" and "FULL THROTTLE" while on the subway and loss track of time. this was before cell phones were UBIQUITOUS and in my defense my watch's battery died, leaving it permanently stuck near noon. my uncle called the police and national guard apparently and almost gave him a heart attack. but yeah, i was somewhere else on planet JILTED GENERATION obliviously running around the city having a great time. arguably one of my FAVORITE experiences in high school. almost felt like FERRIS BUELLER running around seeing stores and visiting a museum in the process.
for me the music of THE PRODIGY is indicative of where my musical tastes permanently shifted and expanded upon leaving CALIFORNIA and first living abroad. i have long wondered what i would have gotten into if i had stayed put in the UNITED STATES and not been subject to that IMMENSE CULTURE SHOCK at such a tender age. i'll never know.
embedded below is a recent DEER GOD RADIO episode on nonprofit internet radio station MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC that includes a playlist celebrating the INFECTIOUS ELECTRONIC MUSIC of THE PRODIGY. enjoy!
RIP KEITH FLINT
parody by nacrowe
check out HERE this recent streaming video episode of DEER GOD RADIO celebrating the BRITISH ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC juggernaut THE PRODIGY!
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO are available here at the DEER GOD website as well as in the MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC archives.
and if you haven't done so already get the FREE PHONE APP for IOS/ANDROID and enjoy listening to MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC 24/7 at your convenience!