So who is Brian Briggs? Well, to those who carefully read the production credits on records, his real name is John Holbrook, a well-respected mixer and sound engineer who worked, produced and recorded on Todd Rundgren's Bearsville Records from 1974 to 1980, and prior to that, at IBC studios in London (most notably on The Who's Tommy & Hendrix's Electric Ladyland). Over the years the name of this music industry veteran has been attached to countless recordings, with many of them hitting platinum status. Another piece of trivia also tells us that once upon a time Holbrook worked for EMS, a legendary company that specialized on sound synthesis.
So what's exactly going on with this record? At first glance, we could say it's a New Wave record (passed through a filter of synths and drum machine-like percussions) touching on different Rock styles in a similar way to Devo. There's Rockabilly on his cover of Eddie Cochran's 'Nervous Breakdown', Surf Rock on 'Spy vs. Spy' and even Ska-tinted Dub on 'Psyclone'. So how did this pastiche of pop styles give us a record that was considered a classic at The Loft in New York City, as well as at Italian clubs like Cosmic and Easy Going?
The key is on Side 1. AEO (Parts I & II) is basically the chant you'd imagine Nature making through a sequencer. With heavy electronic percussions, Analog synth sounds reminiscent of water splashes, and tape echo effects that can easily be mistaken to be the callings of birds and other animals during mating season, AEO has the DNA of every Balearic track to come. While equally giving a nod to the East and mother Africa, it makes sense why this record was popular with impeccable selectors like David Mancuso and Danielle Baldelli.
Often bootlegged or found in compilations, we are honored to bring you this minimal classic by Brian Briggs in all its glory including the incredible pop art cover reminiscent of the Bazooka bubble gum packaging which probably also inspired the logo of that notorious Art Gallery on 76 Grand Street, NYC.