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Sunday, November 2

Music: Apache

The Incredible Bongo Band, also known as Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band, was a project started by Michael Viner, a record artist manager and executive at MGM Records. The band’s output consisted of instrumental music in the funk genre, characterised by the prominence of bongo drums and also conga drums.

Although the band released two albums, 1973’s Bongo Rock and 1974’s Return of the Incredible Bongo Band, the band is best known for its cover of “Apache”, a song originally made popular by The Shadows.

"Apache" has been cited by Afrika Bambaataa as an important early element of hip hop music with the record being sampled and scratched by many DJs. But it wasn't the hit versions by The Shadows, Ingmann or Weedon that Bambaataa, Kool Herc and the like turned into "hip-hop’s national anthem": it was the 1973 version by Michael Viner and an ad hoc group called the Incredible Bongo Band. They added a distinctive bongo drum intro to the tune, and added more percussion throughout the song.

This version was not a hit upon its initial release, but later became the sampled foundation of several rap and hip-hop classics, being reworked by hip hop performers "ranging from the Sugarhill Gang and L.L. Cool J to The Roots and Nas," not to mention sampling by techno performers Future Sound of London and Moby and drum and bass acts J. Majik and Goldie.
Michaelangelo Matos, All Roads Lead to ‘Apache’


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