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Liquid Liquid was a New York Citymarker post-punk band that was active from 1980 to 1983, and regained activity in 2008, playing in various venues across the globe. Their track "Cavern", from the Optimo EP, recorded by Don Hunerberg was sampled (actually played by the Sugar Hill house band) on Grandmaster + Melle Mel's "White Lines ". Since the band’s inception in 1980, the sounds of Liquid Liquid have been a mainstay in the clubs. The original records were pressed in very limited quantities on the 99 label, and can now fetch high prices. Though the pressings were small the impact the music has made is lasting and far reaching. The first three EPs, plus live material, were reissued in 1997 by Grand Royal (US) and Mo' Wax (UK). After the collapse of both these labels, Domino Records released the music from all three original 12"s plus extra tracks and early live recordings as Slip In And Out Of Phenomenon in 2008.

In October 2008 the band returned to the UK after a prolonged hiatus, playing at London's Barbican Theatremarker alongside the Glasgow-based DJ duo Optimo, who named themselves after the eponymous Liquid Liquid song and EP.

Liquid Liquid performed in 2009 at the Villette Sonique Festival in Parismarker, as well as in Lincoln Square, where they followed the 200 Guitar Orchestra.

Musical Style

Their music was essentially groove based, influenced by the many different sources, funk, dub reggae of the 1970s, and primarily punk in its do it yourself garage approach. One thing that set them aside from many other bands is that their songs do not follow standard song form, having no verses or chorus, only bridges. Also, Sal, the vocalist, is known to use his voice as an instrument, as his focus is to hit specific notes rather than project words and lyrics.

Band Members

Drummer Scott Hartley, bassist Richard McGuire, vocalist Salvatore Principato and Dennis Young (marimba) are the band members. Dennis Young is still active and producing music, and has played and is playing with Raymond Bally, and has been remixed by Hot Chip and Tussle. Richard McGuire is well-established graphic designer with frequent contributions to both The New Yorker magazine, and The New York Times Book Review. Salvatore Principato is active in various electronic music recording projects, as well as DJ'ing professionally around the world.


  • Liquid Liquid 12" EP (99-07, 1981)
  • Successive Reflexes 12" EP (99-09 1981)
  • "Bellhead"/"Push" 7" single (99-11EP7, 1981 - extremely rare record of re-recordings by Liquid Liquid, recorded, mixed & mastered in one day - Nov. 24, 1981. The band destroyed most copies and it was never made available, but some still exist.)
  • Optimo 12" EP (99-11, 1983)
  • "Dig We Must" 12" (99-LL1, 1984)
  • Liquid Liquid 2xLP/CD (Mo Wax/Grand Royal, 1997)
  • Slip In And Out Of Phenomenon 3xLP/CD (Domino Records, 2008)

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