CD Telecommunication Breakdown (CD 174843),
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Emergency Broadcast Network
2. Electronic Behavior Control System
3. Go To
4. Sexual Orientation
5. Station Identification
6. Get Down Ver. 2.2
7. Shoot the Mac-10
8. You Have 5 Seconds to Complete This Section
9. Super Zen State (Power Chant No. 3)
10. State Extension
12. Dream Induction
14. Electronic Behavior Control System Ver. 2.0
15. We Must Have the Facts
18. Beginning of the End
19. Homicidal Schizophrenic (A Lad Insane)
20. End of Audio Program
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 4710
Jack Dangers; Josh Tobias
The CD version of TELECOMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN can be played using either a multimedia equipped computer (for sound and pictures) or an audio CD player. Included is a floppy disc interactive CD booklet.
Emergency Broadcast Network: Joshua Pearson (vocals, programming); Ron O'Donnell (DJ); Gardner Post.
Additional personnel: Grand Master Melle Mel (vocals); Jamie West-Oram (guitar); Brian Eno (keyboards); Jack Dangers (DJ, special effects); Bill Laswell (special effects, bass); Institute Of Technology (special effects).
Samples include "Jungle Boogie" (as performed by Kool & The Gang), "Foxy Lady" (Jimi Hendrix), "Taxi Driver" (Bernard Hernmann) and "Aladdin Sane" (David Bowie).
Recording information: 1994.
This is an elaborate treat that snuck past a lot of critics and potential audience when it was released back in 1995. The packaging for the CD came with some serious multimedia perks; certainly ahead of its time. The built-in CD-ROM features allow the listener/viewer the option of going through the whole disc with its own CD player software, occasionally alerting the viewer to videos where applicable. There are three altogether, but always available are some basic television images flashing on the computer screen plus controls to modify them (fast, slow, distorted, etc.). Lyrics are available to scroll down for each track, plus tour and contact information. Also present is a quick showcase of EBN's equipment, such as their impressive video image sampler as well as a demonstration of their absurd and amusing golf-bag rocket launcher. For buyers who didn't have a CD-ROM drive, never fear -- a floppy disc is also included in the sleeve to provide some basic multimedia wall of sound eye candy. But all of this is just visual. As for the music, this is a tremendously ambitious side project for Meat Beat Manifesto's frontman Jack Dangers, who seems like an ideal producer for this album, one that is so deeply rooted in found samples, TV clips, and soundbites. Using existing media as a prime source of material for much of this album, there are hardly any formal musicians in Emergency Broadcast Network, but rather a collective of producers, programmers, and audio/visual operators that create new works by utilizing a musicians' ear, if not a musical instrument. Two tracks feature a slightly more traditional approach: First visiting producer Brian Eno gives a little creepy breathing room for the track "Homicidal Schizophrenic," with guest guitarist Jamie West-Oram, ex-member of The Fixx. Also on the guest list is the ever-prolific Bill Laswell, who puts in his two cents for the track "Shoot the Mac-10," an inner-city tribute to a lightweight automatic weapon that features the surprisingly gritty rap skills of '80s legend Grandmaster Melle Mel, whose teeth have only sharpened over the years. As for the rest of the album, Dangers typically likes to stuff a record to the seams with soundbites and audio clips, and here he also adds commercial interruptions between several tracks. Telecommunication Breakdown is an almost overindulgent showcase for his style, but, due to the nature of this concept album, its excessiveness is what gives this album its wings. Not to be missed. ~ Keir Langley
Option (9-10/95, p.108) - "This disc owes as much to hip-hop and funk as it does to techno, Negativland and Frank Zappa. All those influences and more are mixed into this complex dish..."
Melody Maker (2/17/96, p.33) - Recommended - "...a dizzying collage of memorable snippets of music, a myriad of distorted voices and sheer arse-quaking hip hop/bass/fuzz/noise/punk....[EBN] are the best joke since Devo, but that's not to underestimate their music. Although the EBN idea is bigger than a pop record, content has not been abandoned in favour of style..."
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Dance & Electronic
TVT (Dist.) 4710
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