Liquid Liquid emerged from New York City’s vibrant Downtown scene in 1981. Formed by drummer Scott Hartley, bassist Richard McGuire, vocalist Sal Principato and marimba player Dennis Young, the group cut their teeth in underground clubs and street art circles before solidifying their trailblazing style – a fusion of irresistible basslines, junkyard percussion and urgent, free-flowing lyrics. Their three EPs, all originally released on legendary 99 Records, would heavily influence dance-oriented indie rock of the early aughts (LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records, et al.).
Liquid Liquid continued toward dance-floor perfection with their third EP. 1983’s Optimo features the band’s best-known songs and remains a high water mark for post-punk aficionados. The title track positively erupts when the bass enters, forcing even the stiffest person in the room to move. While it would be an understatement to say that “Cavern” may sound familiar (due to its gross sampling in Grandmaster Melle Mel’s “White Lines”), Liquid Liquid were indeed the originators of this iconic New York riff.