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Gals talk

“Its the soundtrack of the whole adventure, of my journey all over the world looking for magic and the origins of rock ‘n roll.”

This is how Malcolm McLaren—once manager of both The Sex Pistols and Bow Wow Wow—describes his forthcoming LP and his current single “Buffalo Girls”. Its the latest advance in his ever-changing vision of what current music ‘technology should be.

“Records have become out of date,” he says. “Cassettes were fun as, by editing them, people could become their own deejays.”

But his new technique is enticingly simple. Called “scratching”, its based on the hip New York street activity of playing bits of records—backwards or forwards—then recording them over a drum machine and “yodelling over the top”. In other words, using records as instruments.

“This gets rid of the idea that to make a record you have to go out and buy a synthesizer or a guitar. It also means youre reconstructing music out of old debris. Its like getting all your brothers records out of the attic and picking out all the best bits. Its all about realising you can put those favourite bits together and make a record. Just out of old debris. Rather ecological, really!”