Celluloid Years: 12

The Celluloid Years: 12"es and More...

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From 1982 to 1986, Celluloid Records released about 40 extended-play 12"s of then cutting-edge hip-hop, characterized primarily by Linn Drums, the Yamaha DMX keyboard, turntable cutting, and rudimentary rapping. The New York-based label was overseen by Bill Laswell, who was an underground kingpin at the time, co-writing Herbie Hancock's

Overview

From 1982 to 1986, Celluloid Records released about 40 extended-play 12"s of then cutting-edge hip-hop, characterized primarily by Linn Drums, the Yamaha DMX keyboard, turntable cutting, and rudimentary rapping. The New York-based label was overseen by Bill Laswell, who was an underground kingpin at the time, co-writing Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," co-producing Mick Jagger's solo debut, and fronting Material, among myriad other activities. Celluloid was quite forward-looking for its time. Ironically, the output of the label is quite dated today. Those Linn Drum sounds, above all, date the music instantly. Drum machines were hip and fresh at the time, sure, but they've come a long way since the mid-'80s -- as has the art of rapping, and hip-hop production in general. So perhaps what's most interesting about The Celluloid Years is how primitive the music sounds today. Laswell and company obviously were onto something big at the time, treating hip-hop as an artistically valid style of music rather than just a fad. This mindset resulted in some fascinating songs, most notably "World Destruction" (by Time Zone, featuring Afrika Bambaataa and John Lydon), "Home of Hip Hop" (D.ST), and "Crazy Cuts" (also by D.ST). Unfortunately, precious few of the songs compiled on this two-CD collection are all that fascinating. They all have their moments, featuring interesting elements here and there. But by and large, they're trying listens, whether because the rhythms are canned, the rapping is pathetic, the songwriting is weak, or some combination of these unfortunate factors. If you can discount all this, however, The Celluloid Years is a fun and historically interesting listen. It's probably not a collection you'll revisit more than once or twice, but it's revelatory upon first listen, to imagine these songs being spun by mid-'80s DJs in the clubs of New York City, accompanied, of course, by breakdancing. Also, it's good to have this music compiled once again on CD, especially in such a thorough manner (leave it to the Germans, as usual). It was previously compiled on Roots of Rap: The 12 Inch Singles, Vol. 1, though not nearly to the extent that it is here. On The Celluloid Years, Collision features the original 12" versions, which are preferable, even if the songs drag on and on to disco length. The mastering is also commendable. Old-school hip-hop historians and collectors will cherish this release, no doubt, though most everyone else will find it unbearably dated.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/21/2006
Label:
Collision Cause Chap
UPC:
0673795000724
catalogNumber:
3007

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul Butterfield   Harmonica
Wally Badarou   DX-7,Oberheim OB8
Buddy Miles   Organ,Drums
Bernie Worrell   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Fairlight CMI,Prophet 5
Craig Harris   Trombone
Bill Laswell   Bass,Percussion,Fairlight CMI,Shortwave Radio
Jaco Pastorius   Bass
Olu Dara   Trumpet,Cornet
Lightnin' Rod   Vocals
Afrika Bambaataa   Vocals
Michael Beinhorn   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Prophet 5
Aiyb Dieng   Percussion,cowbell,talking drum,Jimbe,Chatan
Rusty Egan   Musician
Suliaman el Hadi   Vocals
Bernard Fowler   Background Vocals
Fred Fowler   Vocals
Jimi Hendrix   Bass,Guitar
Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin   Vocals
Nicky Skopelitis   Guitar
Roger Trilling   Vocals,Voices
Steve Turre   Didjeridu
Phillip Wilson   Percussion,Balafon,Synthesizer Bass
Rusty Wunderverke   Musician
Amad Henderson   Vocals
Infinity   Background Vocals
BeeSide   Vocals
Dibango   Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Dondi   Background Vocals
Fab Five Betty   Vocals
God Father K. C.   Background Vocals,Group Member
King Pin Shahiem   Background Vocals,Group Member
Jimmy Mac   Vocals
Nicky Marroero   Bongos
Motivator   Vocals
Derek "D. ST." Showard   Turntables,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Prophet 5
Soul Makossa Gang   Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Fliest Booski   Background Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Martin Bisi   Engineer
Bill Laswell   Producer,Dmx,AMS Audiophile Operator
Lightnin' Rod   Composer
Afrika Bambaataa   Producer
Michael Beinhorn   Dmx
Joe Blaney   Engineer
Alan Douglas   Producer
Bernard Fowler   Vocal Arrangements
Jean Karakos   Author
François Kevorkian   Remixing
Martin Meissonnier   Producer
Robert Musso   Engineer
Rob Stevens   Engineer
Dominick Maita   Engineer
KC Rockit   Composer
Bob Musso   Engineer
Phillip Wilson   Producer,Dmx
Bernard Zekri   Producer
Bart Plantenga   Liner Notes
Derek "D. ST." Showard   Arranger,Producer,Dmx
Paul "Groucho" Smykle   Remixing

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