A South Bronx Story CD, Import
House/hip-hop. Once Again Re-released this 16-track Album from this Highly Influential Band from the Late 70's who Are Still Thriving Today. Esg were Immersed in Both the Ny Dance Club Scene and in the Meeting of Punk and Dance Culture.
スクロンゲン4姉妹(ルネ、デボラ、ヴァレリー、マリー)と隣人のティト・リブランは1981年、12インチレコードでのデビュー作UFO、Moodyの大ヒットにより、一風変わった形で音楽シーンに躍り出た。ヒップホップ人気の急上昇のおかげで当時のサウスブロンクスは音楽界で大きな地位を占めるようになっていた。ところがライブのインストゥルメントをフィーチャーする彼女らのミニマリスト的なファンクは、その精神において当時イギリスで台頭してきたPiLやギャング・オブ・フォー、それに(ESGの最初の3本の歌をリリースした)ファクトリー・レーベルに近いものがあった。そのアプローチはコンクやブッシュ・テトラス、リキッド・リキッド(最後の2つは後に半ば伝説的な99レコーズでのレーベル仲間となった)などのニューヨーク・バンドにも近かった。Moodyはパラダイス・ガラージなどニューヨークのディスコの定番となり、UFOの方はヒップホップの素材となり、少なくとも数十枚の他のレコード(その数はさらに増えている)のサンプルとして使われている。これらの曲の魅力は、デボラとヴァレリーのベースとドラムの緊張感あふれるやり取りとそれをけしかけるようなマリーとティトのコンガ、それにルネのつぼを押さえた正確なギターと飾りを排したヴォーカルスタイルにある。一切の無駄を排したこのサウンドの性質は、ヒップホップのプロデューサーがその上に音を積み重ねるのに便利で、ヒップホップがその後の数十年を乗り切る助けとなった。80年代初期に一部の音楽が受けた「あのシンセサイザーの音を使って一体あいつらは何を考えているんだ?」といった批判とは無縁だったのだ。本CDには99レコーズからの多くの発表作や1991年にパウワウ・レーベルから出したバンド名をそのままタイトルにした作品も含まれている。99レコーズというレーベル自体は訴訟に敗れて衰退してしまい、ルネ・スクロンゲンが明らかに著作権を持っているということはそれ自体注目に値する。それでも歴史的意義もあり、その音楽の聴き応えという一点に絞っても、今回の再発売は嬉しい。 --Bob Bannister
Though I have always been repelled by punk's thuggishness, "A South Bronx Story" was the fruit not of thuggishness, but of pure childlike innocence that I had never heard before. The rhythms were indeed rather uncalculated but never noisy, and the vocals of Renee and her sisters possessed a beauty that can only come out of simplicity, as well as a romantic feeling that was could seemingly see both sides ("up, high, down low" being typical) rather than being sentimental.
The songs themselves are distinctly minimalist, chiefly relying on basslines and percussion, but the occasional guitar line is most distinctive because it is so untrained, notably on the famous "UFO", which really does need to be heard in its proper setting rather than as a sample. The dramatic, if not fiery, "Moody" is bound to give any listener an upbeat feeling with its almost real-life description of a girl looking for a lover: Renee never feels guilty of what she wants to say, she just says it. The same feeling permeates all of the first ten songs on the record, with the other highlight being the distinctive beat/minibeat rhythm of "Tiny Sticks" that yet again shows the way thuggishness is so opposed to expression. "My Love For You" might be purely a dance number, but never has something this accessible sound so charming, yet the voices of the Scroggins sisters seem able to bounce back and forward effortlessly and without strain. Even on more conventional numbers in the latter half of the record, like the funk-rock "Erase You" and "Get Funky," ESG failed to lose their trademark na?vete.
Like later trip-hop groups, ESG showed how beautiful simple rhythms can be for listening pleasure. This was not really something to dance to; it was music that shows the beauty of innocent simplicity. The pictures of the Scroggins sisters on the back cover are really charming and should be seen.
As others mentioned, they are analogous to the other groups that get lumped into the funk punk genre (the aforementioned artists), however they do still sound distinct from the others in the genre. The lead vocalist sounds very similar to Neneh Cherry. Hopefully they will still record with current resurgence in popularity of the early 80s genres. This release sounds very good, it sounds like it was mastered from original tapes. The liner notes give some helpful info on the group itself, however more detailed info on the individual tracks (including a track listing), like what the original releases were, would have been helpful.
Post funk consists of funky melodic bass lines, spare vocals, and African or Latin percussion usually filtered through digital delay equipment for an atmospheric slightly creepy feel. Unlike the funk music of the seventies, the guitar sound is thin and it's kept in the background.
Even though post funk music had its heyday in the New York City of twenty years ago, it is still heavily sampled by hip-hop artists. "UFO," an ESG track produced by the infamous Martin Hannett, remains an especially popular choice.
ESG's skeletal grooves may sound hollow to fans of either top forty dance music or classic motor city funk. But every song on this CD is fabulous for both dancing and listening. Overall, it doesn't sound nearly as dated as more mainstream eighties stuff, which makes "A South Bronx Story" a timeless treat for the college/indie crowd.
This ESG is something fantastic. It supposed to be on a hot revival journey by now in terms of ALL WAVES. This is music I've heard in the beginning of the 80's as a friend of mine was working in a record shop and having his own pirate radio station in Arnhem, Holland. I knew it had to do with Liquid Liquid kind of approach. Well, I went to Paris in 1994 and I picked up the 12" version of this record with: you're no good, Moody, UFO, Earn it, ESG and HEY ! It was a thrill to find it there and Paris can be good for finding records. But it now appears, that the internet is even better. I think you find yourself sublimely unique by discovering the ideal pop, dub, funk, punk approach, where John Lydon and Pil should have gone but shamelessly failed to after the so promising beginning of his band. When I visited a cousin in New York 2 years ago, I heard this record in a lounge-caf? at the back of Time Square. Can you believe how thrilled I was ? Actually: I was the stranger in New York uptill then. But dancing make you feel like home just about anywhere at all. May be even in the South Bronx !