Various Artists (Raz Mesinai) – ‘How To Kill A Boombox (Underground Cassette Productions 1989-92)’ LP [Silo Rumor]

Raw machine music is like crack to me. Something about off kilter beats on programmed kit sounds under-produced and recorded on to something shitty makes me really dig some records. The more beats and the fewer synths the better.

Released on Silo Rumor and credited as a compilation of various producers, How To Kill A Boombox (Underground Cassette Productions 1989-92) is in fact a collection of archive tracks from label boss Ras Mesinai, and it’s bang up our alley.

Back in 1997, and under the name Badawi, Mesinai released an incredible debut of dubbed out spliff-mix vibes in the form of the LP Bedouin Soundclash, a plate still reached for regularly. As part of Sub Dub and a solo performer he mastered his own style of sound, cutting out his own niche for performance and recordings in the New York scene of the time that birthed countless classic records.

Recorded across a three year period from ’89 in New York City on whatever hardware happened to be at hand, Mesinai’s work under various aliases here has a loose common thread of creative experimentation on limited machinery. They all hit hard though, varying between dubby sample based joints, battle breaks, ambient techno and retro-futuristic acid.

It’s a dope record that sounds exactly as we’d hoped it would. A producer with an original sound improvising in the studio on analog hardware. Not much else we can say that isn’t summed up int he press release below, just underneath some excerpts from the plate.

via Silo Rumour / Raz Mesiani

“How to Kill a Boom Box is a compilation of music I produced between 1989 to 1992. In the early 80’s, I began experimenting with drum machines, turntables and tape machines to create instrumental B-Boy rhythms for Break Dancers in New York City.

It wasn’t much later that I began studying percussion with Juma Sultan (Jimi Hendrix percussionist). Sultan, instinctively gave me a Multivox Tape Echo chamber and a microphone, tools that led me to produce my first actually sellable productions, a few of which are included here.

I’d used the Multivox alongside a turntable, microphone and a two-track cassette tape recorder to produce my first guerrilla cassette productions, starting with a series of ambient / noise / distorted acid break / house albums called “Psycho Beats” under the band name “Psy Co.” (a band which I was the sole member of) and “Dj Tab”, then I followed up with the “Multivox Series as “X-On”, and “The Bedouin” (changing to Badawi years later). In the early ‘90s some of these tunes caught the ear of club kid promoter; Angel Melendez, whom helped get me my first bookings at after-hour parties in NYC, before being tragically murdered by Michael Alig in 1996.

These songs were produced rapidly — one swoop, with no overdubs, so they are essentially studio improvisations, and the only way I can actually tell, relatively, what year these were produced is by the apparent lack of gear used to create them, and the addition, or lack of, a single tool” – Raz Mesinai