Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Random Wednesday: Time Zone, 'World Destruction'

Afrika Bambaataa is generally regarded as the "Grandfather" or "Godfather" among the early pioneers of Hip-Hop, as well as the prime innovator of the electro funk sound. His third single ‘Planet Rock’ laid waste to the vapid nature of popular disco, introducing a colder futuristic vision, that borrowed heavily from Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans Europe Express’ and ‘Numbers’. The latter in particular provided the perfect template for the breakbeat architecture that would become synonomous with hip-hop.

Bambaataa worked with different musicians for his experimental Time Zone project, which he would continue off and on into the nineties. Impressed by John Lydon’s
rabid delivery style, he had dub pioneer Bill Laswell arrange a collaborative session, the fruits of which produced the present track.

‘World Destruction’ is the first real rapcore song; predating Run-DMC and Aerosmith's ‘Walk This Way’, with its insiduous guitar line and a majestic synth figure. Lydon, fresh from his own experimentation with p.i.l., contributes a note perfect performance capturing the clausterphobic sense of impending doom perfectly. He shows us that punk and rap are two-sides of the same coin, both essentially aggressive, visceral genres.

Laswell contributed bass to the track, but the two main protagonists are clearly the stars of the show, brewing a storm with furious vocalisations backed by the ominous thud of the mechanised beat. One of those rare occasions in music when two genre leaders get together and make something at least equal to the sum of it’s parts, a little gem to cherish.

Where to Find: World Destruction Single (1984) &
The Best of British £1 Notes (2005)

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