If it's pioneering, trailblazing, armed audio warfare you're after, Meat Beat Manifesto is your answer. From 1989's Storm the Studio -- a tour de force of hip-hop, dub, industrial dance noise -- to this year's At the Center, a blend of electronica and jazzy live instrumentation (including a shocking amount of flute, as well as drums from Dave King of the Bad Plus), Meat Beat has delivered booty-shaking, consciousness-expanding music for more than fifteen years. Most electronic music produced during that time owes at least a small debt to the Manifesto and its principal, Jack Dangers. But MBM has always been more than just the music: It's also a performance-art collective, with live shows often presenting avant-garde movement artists and other assorted freaks. Unlike his predictable followers in trip-hop, dub and techno, Dangers's continually evolving compositions and live gigs always keep the crowd guessing.
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