Various Artists - The Blank Generation: Blank Tapes NYC 1975-1985Strut Records
The music scene in New York during the late seventies and eighties featured an avalanche of independent recordings that usually would gain acceptance when played out in the clubs as opposed to the traditional format of radio play. Clearly this was one of the most progressive periods in the musical history of New York and one of the pioneers during this period was producer Bob Blank. Originally Blank started his career as a guitarist before starting Blank Tape studios and collaborating with some of the creative forces New York had to offer. Among the many artists he worked with was Charanga 76. Led by Tito Rodriguez, they reworked the Ben E. King disco track “Music Trance” and added a little Latin rhythm with enough spice to fill a dance floor. “I got a Big Bee” by Bumblebee Unlimited” was the creation of Greg Carmichael and Patrick Adams. The track features the synthesized sound that was prevalent throughout the eighties and made famous by Adams previous groups like Phreek and The Universal Robot Band. This release isn’t totally focused on disco hits, as evidenced by Sun Ra’s “Where Pathways Meet” and the funkified sounds of James Blood Unlimited. Of all the selections here, none was bigger than Fonda Rae’s “Over like a Fat Rat”. More than twenty years later, the track still features one of the fiercest bass grooves on wax and makes your head nod today. If you’re too young to remember or old enough to reminiscence then “Blank Tapes NYC” will provide a vivid snapshot on a rich musical legacy.
Reg Dancy, 10/10