Saturday, June 10, 2006

Buffalo Gals (1982) – Malcolm McLaren & World’s Famous Supreme Team

A quirky amalgam of square dance tradition and an emerging hip-hop movement, “Buffalo Gals” introduced scratching and sampling to the mainstream pop culture in 1982, receiving airplay alongside the likes of Hall and Oates and Foreigner (and a loose reference twenty years later in Eminem’s 2002 single “Without Me”). The fingerprints of Trevor Horn, Anne Dudley, J.J. Jeczalik and Gary Langan—future collaborators in The Art of Noise—are transparently laid throughout, while the introduction of the ironically-named World’s Famous Supreme Team—a pair of New Jersey radio DJs—bring milk crates of street cred to the shindig. Malcom McLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols and Bow Wow Wow—and mastermind behind this enterprise—plays the part of square dance caller in a funky hoedown that intermingles country folkishness with urban edginess. A Fairlight CMI sampler spits out a throbbing gyroscopic beat, sizzling hi-hats and lumbering pachydermatous toms in a wicked brew fraught with curious soundbites and out-of-kilter keyboard bursts, flavored with malt, hops and fidgety turntables that whip, warble, flutter, scratch and stutter. The Supreme Team take a turn at the mic, spotlighted in an R&B break that hints at The Art of Noise’s later battles in the soundscape.

Finally, the world was given music for buffalo gals and hobos to promenade and do-si-do alongside B-boys bustin’ windmills, 1990’s, flares and headspins. Avant-garde in its eclecticism, “Buffalo Gals” coherently presents its patchwork in a 40 of sonic moonshine.

  • Not available from iTunes Music Store.
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