Not a lot of people remember Liquid Liquid or even credit the influence they had in today’s music. Yes, their career only lasted 3 years from 1980 to 1983, yes, they never released a formal LP, and yes, their music was ahead of their time and although they were successful back then in NYC’s underground club culture and reformed in 2008 to play live gigs, I still think they don’t get the attention they deserve. They are groove-based and have many elements of funk, dance, dub reggae, garage and punk; often considered as post-punk, post-dance or no-wave, their music has no traditional structure, lacking choruses and verses, and is based on texture and sound rather than melodies and lyrics.
“Optimo” best exemplifies all this and is the most adequate song from their catalogue to help you understand and perceive their influence on the music scene of this decade. Listen to this song and you’ll immediately think of The Rapture or LCD Soundsystem and that is something huge given that both The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem are two of the most influential artists of the last 5 years in the indie scene. The vocals on “Optimo” work almost like an instrument, focusing on rhythm and pitch, only caring for granting extra texture to the song, therefore you will dance endlessly, rather than sing. Don’t miss the samples of “Optimo” below.
The music of Liquid Liquid has been sampled many times, “Optimo” probably the most. Here’s a list of some artists that have sampled this song, click on the name of the song to listen to the sample.
Monkey Say, Monkey Do by WestBam (1988)
I’ll House You by Jungle Brothers (1988)
Call the Cops by Beathoven (1989)
Ok, Alright (Club Mix) by The Minutemen (1989)
Overdose by Major Problems (1990)
Free (Exposure Mix) by Deborah Wilson (1993)
Sex on the Streets by Pizzaman (1995)