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LIQUID LIQUID (Buy CDs by this artist)
Liquid Liquid EP (99) 1981
Successive Reflexes EP (99) 1981
Optimo EP (99) 1983

Along with labelmates ESG, Liquid Liquid exemplified the minimalist funk movement that swept New York's music underground in 1981. The band's impressive five-song debut (one side recorded live) fuses metalphones with congas, marimba and other percussive gadgetry to create hypnotic urban-tribal funk. Except for the vocals, that goal is realized. Successive Reflexes also works, although full-scale production values alter the previously skeletal sound.

Optimo — four more songs on another 12-inch — continues the rhythmic intensity, and is specially notable for "Cavern," an insidious and lengthy bass/drums groove that was later adopted as the musical basis for Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel's "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)."

[Graham Flashner/Ira Robbins]