MALCOLM McLAREN ‘Duck Rock’ (Charisma MMLP 1)
WHENEVER JOHN Lydon got bored in London, he once told me, he used to raid one of London’s biggest record stores and buy up the most ridiculous records he could find —
Malcolm McLaren, his former partner in crime, buys plane tickets instead. Just to make money, he’ll tell you.
Armed with a trusty ghetto blaster (and the inevitable video team) he arrives in tiny Columbian villages or remote Zulu settlements, grabs whatever music is on the menu and retreats. Weeks later the said music is hideously mixed with a wonderful selection of New York street noise, rap and scratch and handed over to Trevor Horn to rescue.
The end result is the best album of the eighties so far.
Some exposure to the offshoots of the ‘Buffalo Gals’ and ‘Soweto’ hits —
There’s everything here from the primal drum beats of the Lucumi priests (‘Legba’ and ‘Obatala’), Zulu chants (“Punk It Up/I’m A Sex Pistol Man Oh Yeah!”), Afro Caribbean rhythm dances (‘Merengue’) right through to the inevitable Tennessee square dance of ‘Duck For The Oyster’.
Self-declared as a “soundtrack to revive magical instincts” the whole shaboodle is held together by the bits and pieces that link the tracks. One minute you’re in a jungle created in Malcolm’s mind and Trevor Horn’s studio, the next out on the steaming streets of the city, dancing the Latin tango or shaking to the High Life beat.
’Duck Rock’ is hyper charged —