Sunday, July 15, 2018

Groove o' the day: Contortions - Designed to Kill

Here's kind of a hip funk-type groove from the late 70s, by James Chance and the Contortions. It's New York scene shit— arty discordant high energy punk/funk jams with a charismatic front man, and not really designed for listening pleasure. That could describe any number of bands and records from that town from the late 70s-90s*. This is the drum groove from Designed to Kill, from the album Buy, produced by Brian Eno; the drummer is Don Christensen.

He does this little variation often:

You could play the whole first groove with an alternating sticking, with your right hand moving between the hihats and snare drum. Play beat 4 of the 32nd note version R L R RL. Any time you're messing with hihat splashes like this, first focus on getting the close— get a solid unison with your left foot and right hand on the & of 3 and & of 4.

* - To me this music sounds similar to a number of things I heard after college, but never really got into; my wife, the songwriter etc Casey Scott, who lived and was musically active in NYC for all of the 90s, and saw him perform many times, informs me that Chance is great.

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