TAPE TO TAPE CASSETTE DECK DUB DEMOS AND IDEAS

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These very crude recordings were made by first laying an initial track of drums and bass to a standard stereo cassette deck, then playing that tape back while adding an additional performance of synth or vocal and recording both simultaneously to a second cassette deck. This was done over and over until the full arrangement of the song was recorded. Of course, each additional generation or layer of recordings would add noise and lose quality, until the final result would be very high in noise and very low in fidelity.

These were all recorded in the Summer of 1980 and represent some of Cozmo’s (before he partnered with Chilly B) earliest attempts at making music. The only instruments used were the Electro Harmonix DRM16, a non-programmable primitive drum machine, the Electro Harmonix Mini-Synthesizer, a crude little synth made out of plastic, metal and cardboard, and the Electro Harmonix Vocoder, the only one of the 3 that would later be used for Newcleus recordings. Recently found on the original cassette that they had been dubbed to, much of the tape had been recorded over and relabeled so these recordings were long thought lost forever. They had not been heard for over 20 years.

This is the song that set Newcleus into motion! It was a version of this that Cozmo would shop during the Summer of ’80, searching in vain for a record company that would listen to it without his leaving his one and only copy. The only person that would was a guy at a tiny label named Reflection Records by the name of Joe Webb. Joe Webb took the time to listen and offer constructive criticism, a kindness remembered when Cozmo was shopping the Positive Messenger project in 1983. Cozmo took Positive Messenger to Joe Webb first as return for that kindness, and the rest is history.

This features ancient and some downright comical raps and vocals by a 20 year old Cozmo D and a 15 year old MC Harmoney (Tuga, Al “T” McLaran, The Orakle to our forum members) and background vocals by a 17 year old Lady E. It is probably not the version that was shopped, as all 3 remember that version featuring more members of Jam-On as well, but it is probably the version that served as reference for it. It may very well be that Part 2 is from the version that was shopped, as it has not survived in it’s entirety and the performances appear to be tighter. The rhymes on Part 2 are also different though, so it may be that it is really a disjointed part of the same version as Part 1. Unfortunately, most of the tape has been recorded over so these questions may never be answered. All throughout Cozmo’s lyrics can be heard many of the rhymes that would later be incorporated into both his and Chilly B’s lyrics in Newcleus’ “Jam On It”. In fact, even Harmoney’s “go crazy” chant would be borrowed for Newcleus’ biggest hit. This is pure Jam-On history right here!

Also included is a small preserved portion of the first generation layer of the drum and bass tracks. It gives an example of what the tracks sounded like before the overdubs were added with the increased noise and loss of fidelity.

In 1980 Cozmo first tried his hand at speeding up rap vocals and futuristic Hip-Hop themes. The result was a chipmunk voiced rapping robot named Destructabooty. Nothing is left of this early project but this tiny little snippet, but the lineage to “Jam-On’s Revenge” is plain. Enjoy!

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