Innovative Life

Arabian Prince

Innovative Life

The neglected near suburban sprawl of outer Los Angeles, with its dense population of bored, impressionable teenagers, has served as the proving ground for innumerable teen dance crazes. In the ‘60s, neighborhoods like Watts, Slauson, and Long Beach produced soulful dance sensations like “The Jerk,” “The Slauson Shuffle,” and “The Watts Breakaway.” By the mid eighties a new dance-centric genre emerged from these same neighborhoods. Groups like Egyptian Lover, The World Class Wrecking Crew, and Arabian Prince blended the brooding synth-funk of Zapp, the breakneck beats of the burgeoning Chicago House scene, and the metronomic pulse of Kraftwerk and Africa Bambaataa to create a new, distinctly West Coast brand of Electro that would serve as the soundtrack to innumerable teen dance crazes. Though the dances themselves, “The Cabbage Patch,” “The Campbell Lock,” and “The Slide” among others are mostly forgotten, Stones Throw Records' new Arabian Prince compilation, Innovative Life vividly evokes Electro’s mid eighties heyday. The brooding synths, 808 beats and faux-eastern melodies of “Freak City” are a particular highlight.

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