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Percussionists Lou Ciccotelli and Richard Olatunde Baker are Eardrum. Since forming in the early '90s, the duo has gleaned inspiration from free jazz, Afro-beat, musique concrète, and reggae, attempting to build on the spirit of Sun Ra, Miles Davis, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Fela Kuti, and the outer reaches of 23 Skidoo. The duo's material is often dark, always hypnotic -- nothing but pure rhythm. Three years after making their 1996 debut with a 12" on Soul Static Sound, Ciccotelli and Baker issued the Last Night LP on Leaf. With help from several guests, all of the instrumentation was recorded live and was patched together in a rigorous editing process, Teo Macero style. Last Night Remixes, Vol. 1, a batch of reworkings from the likes of Monolake, Ashley Beedle, and the Sofa Surfers, was released in mid-2000. The duo made a full return in 2001, a year that saw the release of Side Effects, which featured contributions from renowned engineer Guy Fixsen (My Bloody Valentine, Laika), Nii Tagoe (African Head Charge), and Jason Yarde (Manu Dibango). Delving further into African-based musics, Eardrum again demonstrated a proclivity for tightly reined chaos. ~ Andy Kellman