Everybody is going to discover soon that without the bright Meat Beat Manifesto’s songs you shouldn’t have heard about The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers or the big beat fashion. Both bands always pay tribute to Jack Dangers inventiveness by using his samples, his rythms construction or quoting him in interviews. Before everyone else Meat Beat Manifesto has married hip hop with experimental sounds, electro with concrete music, techno with industrial. He was probably one of the first “intelligent dance” producer, a kind of mutant son of Stockhausen and Public Enemy.
Here is a blind test with Jack an unbeatable records collector.
– Can “I want more” (Mute)
Jack Dangers: (immediately) It’s Can. Can is important from the fact like I got into bands like Cabaret Voltaire, Kraftwerk. That’s my first jumping into innotive music. Thanks to these bands I’ve researched where they got their influences from. Bands like Can were influenced by Stockhausen. I’m going back, back, and forward.
SHIFT: I know that it is a bit easy, but I would to illustrate the fact that we can find some elements from Kraftwerk into Meat Beat Manifesto’s compositions. I’m thinking about the acid lines melodies and the hypnotic grooves.
Jack: Yes definitely! Kraftwerk absolutly! There’s a track on my last album which is just an hommage to them. I saw them on recent tour which is really good, amazing, but they do a new song. It was disappointing. So I made my song and I say to myself “okay this is what to me Kraftwerk should sound” so I did that.
– Cabaret Voltaire “Digital Rasta” (virgin)
Jack: (he hesitates) hmmm… I ‘m sure I got this record into my collection. Cab? I so stop like them in 1981 when Chris Watson left. I like “Voice of America”, their first singles, “Mix Up”. It sounds very eighties, Kraftwerk sounds timeless, the older Cabaret Voltaire too. But this stuff didn’t, it was done with a Lindrum which is too much obsolete for me. I like the first human League album until they used a Lindrum.
– Technodon “Be a superman”
JacK: That’s William Burroughs talking. Let’s play another one.
SHIFT: Basically it is a remix of Meat Manifesto song by Orbital and it appears on one of their albums.
Jack: Yes actually they did the remix first. they phoned me and aked me : “Can we use it?” and I said “yeah”. Everyone knows that one and no one knows our one. Story my life. They couldn’t use my voice in an Orbital song cause it was a Meat Beat song. But I think they like my voice. I have never asked them. Maybe they don’t (laughs).
– Consolidated “shell”
Jack: I know that voice. (laughs) Yes Adam. I’ve heard it a couple of times but I don’t like the last album as much as his early tracks. But I appreciate it for what it is. His influences coming through Marvin Gaye, american soul music.
SHIFT: You did a long way with Consolidated, didn’t you?
Jack: Yes I did a lot of the beats and basselines for “Friendly Fascism” even if I only got credited as a mixing, semi producer. But the credit thing wasn’t a big matter. On this album I did samples too But after that I put my foot down.
SHIFT: Do you feel close to their political involvement? They are vegan, they fight against fascism, sexism?
Jack: Yeah yeah! But I think that words has been debased these days just because animal buy products, magazines use glass on photos. Photographs use gelatine too. I don’t eat meat or fish, cheese, eggs or milk anything with a face but I don’t stand on pedestal preach about this personnal choice. I don’t want be pretentious.
– Clara Rockmore “Stravinsky” Berceuse
Jack: Clara! I got this record. I got the original on vinyl, this 7 inch boxset from 1952 on Theremin songs. (he’s taunting us). I bought a real big theremin.
Text: Anthony Augendre