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date: 20 November 2019

Bomb Squad, thelocked

  • Will Fulton

Extract

Group of hip hop producers. It was formed in the mid-1980s by Hank Shocklee (Henry Boxley; b 1958) and included Keith Shocklee (Keith Boxley), Eric Sadler (b 1961), and Chuck D (Carl Ryder; Carlton Ridenhour; b 1960). Evolving from the Spectrum City DJs (later Spectrum City), a Long Island DJ group led by brothers Hank and Keith Shocklee, the Bomb Squad are best known for creating the backing tracks for rap group Public Enemy. Although the group collectively produced music together as early as 1985, the name “Bomb Squad” did not appear on a label credit until 1990.

The Bomb Squad used samplers/sequencers, turntables, and drum machines to combine layers of atmospheric sounds drawn from recordings of sirens, speeches, and crowds with re-contextualized phrases and bursts of music from funk records. The resulting tracks sounded dense and aggressive, while retaining elements of funk and jazz. The Public Enemy album, It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (Def Jam, ...

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Ethnomusicology