Liverpool Sound City launched last night with a slice of New York City soul as a touchstone of contemporary music dropped into town to kick start the party.
High electro funk and pop was dished out on hefty plastic plates as the Masque Theatre bore witness to a lesson in table manners reserved for royalty.
Mixing hi-energy electro, 80s hip-pop-soul grooves and new shit from the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Daft Punk and Justice, Afrika Bambaataa didn’t just live up to his legendary billing but ripped the back out of that over-used billing.
Much like Mix Master Mike‘s Chibuku birthday riches, the Bronx wiz of spin sent the hits fizzing into the stratosphere early doors and as the Liverpool B-boys showed signs of flagging on the dancefloor, he delivered a James Brown/Prince/Public Enemy mash up that saw the whole place go Bam.
Meanwhile the world’s of Liverpool and New York collided as Liverpool Sound City 2010 began with a cosmic boogie.
Liverpool country and rock & roll musician Mike Badger – pictured centre stage on the feather – hooked up in town with hip-hop photographer Ernie Paniccioli and the Godfather of turntabalism Afrika Bambaataa.
Genre-bender Bambaataa, from the South Bronx met for an impromptu meeting with Badger, a homegrown musician on Liverpool’s Viper label, and Paniccioli, a Cee Native American from Brooklyn, ahead of the opening of the latter’s photography exhibition on Renshaw Street.
Paniccioli, 63, captured the graffiti-sprayed times of downtown New York as well as shooting intimate portraits of diverse figures from the Dalai Lama, Notorious B.I.G. and Public Enemy.
Later in the evening at FACT, following on from an exclusive UK premier of the film Other Side Of Hip Hop: The Sixth Element, the US duo hosted an inspired Q&A which involved diverse topics of revolutionising the young, empowering artists, the positivity of hip hop as opposed to commercial gangster rap and the ongoing struggle with controlled media.
Photography by Mark McNulty