Sunday, March 14, 2010

ROCK Sex: 'Apache', HipHop's sacred secret beat!


Geronimo


ROCK Sex is vibing tribal.


"Apache" is one of the most sampled songs in Rap history. But the song has a crazy 50 year history that covers Surf, Psychedelia, Electronic, Funk, and especially HipHop.





America was big on Westerns in the 1950's. Flush with wealth and power in the wake of WWII, it mythologized its roots in endless films and television series. The driving theme songs of these became staples in Rock'n'Roll guitar bands in the late 50's and early 60's.

"Apache" was written by british Jerry Lordan, inspired by the 1954 film of the same name. It was first publicly performed on tour by BERT WEEDON.

BERT WEEDON -"Apache" (1960)



The UK guitar greats THE SHADOWS opened for Weedon on that tour and adapted the song to their style. The bold use of atmospheric echo and stocatto twang helped set the template for Surf music. This song is Dick Dale before Dick Dale.

THE SHADOWS -"Apache" (1960)



While that was a big splash in England, in America it was a big hit for a danish guitarist named JORGEN INGMANN. Listen to the amazing use of electronic effects throughout. Joe Meek must have been thunderstruck.

JORGEN INGMANN -"Apache" (1961)



The song was now a Rock standard; check out Los Pekenikes of Spain (1961), the inevitable response by The Ventures (1962), a vocal version by Sonny James (1962), and biker theme king Davie Allan & The Arrows (1965).


But what would happen it you crossed "Apache" with Captain Beefheart's "Dropout Boogie"? We've often wondered and now we'll know:

EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND -"Apache Dropout" (1970)



Or if you made an all-Moog electronic take?

HOT BUTTER -"Apache" (1972)



Enough people were doing variations of it that no one would have suspected the impact of this Latin Funk expansion on it...

INCREDIBLE BONGO BAND -"Apache" (1973)



But Afrika Bambaataa and other DJs in mid-70's New York did. It was a secret weapon in their vinyl arsenal as they used its beats to pump up block parties and clubs in the dawning days of HipHop. Bambaataa would disguise the labels of his records so no one could swipe his sources. But eventually the word got out and the first Rap single to pave the path was...

SUGARHILL GANG -"Apache" (1981)


When Sugarhill Gang yells, "Hot butter popcorn", it is a shout-out to the Moog band, HOT BUTTER, (see above) and their hit "Popcorn". That toast has since become a running joke in Rap songs, from Funky Four Plus 1 to The Beastie Boys.

But nothing compared to the infinite reach of Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache" itself which has become the source of 78% of the songs for the past three decades. Okay, that's not true, but a lot of them!


But, you're asking, what if The Shadows, Jorgen Ingmann, Davie Allan, and The Incredible Bongo Band all jammed together on "Apache" at Sugar Hill studios? Well, here's two members of PORTISHEAD to answer that musical question...

JIMI ENTLY SOUND -"Apache" (2002)



Point out the samples when they blast out at your next party (and they will), and impress your friends!

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