Liquid Liquid

This band is the funkiest bunch of white guys to emerge from the fertile early-1980’s NYC no wave scene. Featuring one of the most well-known bass lines in recent history, Liquid Liquid are nonetheless relatively unknown to the wider public.

Liquid Liquid is a self-titled collection of everything essential.


To wit: if this band were James Brown, Cavern would be their Funky Drummer.  The moment that transcendent rhythm comes to life on the track, you’ll be awash in familiarity and confusion in the same instant.  Is this White Lines (Don’t Do It) by Grandmaster FlashPhenomenon by LL Cool J?  Both.

Despite that track’s endearing, enduring charm, it’s not even the best thing here.  This collection is overstuffed with quality material, ranging from party-ready bangers to truly outré beat and noise explorations.  None of it comes within spitting distance of mainstream pop or modern club music, by any stretch of imagination.  One listen though and you’ll be convinced that the ideas contained are the base root for a wide breadth of modern music, popular and obscure alike.

This LP is actually a set released in 1997 by Grand Royal containing basically everything you could want to hear from the band’s limited output.  First track Optimo will blow you away.  Cavern is next.  You’re now on a dark, funky rollercoaster to the end.

[grab this amazingly fresh and complete set at amazon]

bonus:  Cavern video!

3 thoughts on “Liquid Liquid

  1. you’re right, this is pretty funky for a bunch of white guys. I don’t even remember how I found out about Liquid Liquid but I am glad I did. I think Optimo is my favorite but as you said the whole album is really good.


  2. I got into Liquid Liquid, because Optimo is on one of those rather excellent New York Noise compilations, that document the post-punk, no wave and early hip hop scenes in the late 1970’s and 80’s. Classic post-punk band.


  3. Incidentally this is playing right now as I write this.

    Liquid Liquid is scheduled to play at this years Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona (easily the most pleasing festival out there). Will be interesting to see if and how well they have preserved their unique style and tightness.
    Last year’s gig of A Certain Ration there was a bit of a letdown in this case.

    By the way, there is a very nicely done remix of Optimo out there, definitely worth checking out. I suppose it’s called “Optimo (An Optimo (Espacio) Mix)” or simply “Optimo Mix”. Send me a note or search for yourself, should be easy to find.


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