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The Beatnigs

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Album Review

Radical politics and even more radical musical ideas come together on the Beatnigs' 1988 debut. Crediting all five members with "industrial percussion" — i.e. circular saws, tire rims, chains and buzzers — the Beatnigs' trademark sound is a collage of tape edits, TV clips, samples and voices which congeals to touch base with traditional musical styles like rock, rap, funk, dub and jazz. The band's lyrical targets are as wide-ranging, taking on racism, television, poverty, and the CIA.


Formed: 1987 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

The original vehicle for social and political critic Michael Franti (later of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and Spearhead), the Beatnigs used elements of industrial music and punk on their lone album, a 1988 self-titled effort for Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label. After its release and a remix of the single "Television" by Adrian Sherwood, the group broke up; Franti, however, returned to...
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The Beatnigs, The Beatnigs
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