13 Faces of Lightning Head
Lightning Head

‘13 Faces Of Lightning Head’ is the 2008 album from Glyn “Bigga” Bush aka Lightning Head. Internationally known for his work as midi-maestro with Rockers Hi Fi during the 1990s and since the turn of the century with his work on Sonar Kollektiv and Stereo Deluxe as Biggabush and Lightning Head. These days Glyn can be found working in his studio in Dorset and spearheading the versatile percussive-group Magic Drum Orchestra on Tru Thoughts.

Originally released on the electronic dub producer’s own label Lion Head Recordings, “13 Faces Of Lighting Head” features guest vocals from Earl Zinger (aka Rob Gallagher/The Diabolical Liberties), Candice Cannabis (NYC rapper for Bigmama Industries), the late great Venezuelan dub star Blanquito Man (Up, Bustle & Out/King Chango) and Belfast-based Nigerian MC Lariman (Calibre, Analogue Minefield, Firehouse Skank).

Glyn recalls how ‘13 Faces Of Lightning Head’ came into being: “The starting point for this album was a trip to Brighton in the 00s to meet the founder of Soundway Records, Miles Cleret. After a natter in the pub Miles took me to his nearby house to share some of the records he’d discovered on various trips to West Africa. Dusty 7’s with amazing grooves, tracks that sounded like they’d been warped through Jamaica or created by hardworking US funk bands of the 70s – each with its own strange twist.”

Glyn had pen and pad to hand and scribbled down copious notes that became the blueprint for the 13 Faces album. A track by the Nigerian Police Band (The Force 7) with a bassline reminiscent of “Double Barrel”, crazy organ and a lopsided groove, inspired “The N.P.G.”; the wandering bassline of Don Isaac Ezekiel Combination’s “Amalinja”, brought about the low-end wobble of “Area Boy”. After several hours of intense inspiration Glyn staggered out onto the street, laden with Soundway LPs and ready to begin some serious study of how this little-known music of West Africa was put together. Beats, basslines and guitar parts were laid down in Glyn’s bedroom studio.

“13 Faces Of Lightning Head” stylistically ranges from straight afro-beat, afro-funk, afro-jazz, with diversions of ethio-funk, dub, rap and what Coldcut’s Matt Black describes as “Fela-electronics”. 13 different faces of one uncut gem, each with its own way of dazzling, now re-issued on Tru Thoughts.

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