Until they finally release the legendary Merzbow/Michael Dudikoff basement tapes, you won’t hear a more unlikely collaboration between an avant-garde composer and an action movie star than this just unearthed session between Arthur Russell and a young Vin Diesel. Recorded many years before Vin Diesel became the longing in Dwayne Johnson’s heart in the Fast And Furious movies, this aborted recording from the nascent Second Edition came about when Russell—the brilliant, influential cellist who dabbled in everything from “avant-disco” to country—was looking to branch out into hip-hop, so guitarist Gary Lucas hooked him up a young kid named Mark Sinclair that he’d found break-dancing and freestyling around the West Village. The two once and future titans got together in 1986 at Battery Sound to cut a demo, with a mush-mouthed Diesel trying and failing to keep up with Russell’s slippery 808 beats (though compared to a lot of his other work, they're pretty straightforward), though he still gamely drops lines about being “the man of steel” and sending his thoughts out to all “the ladies without a man.” Somehow, Second Edition never really took off. [LAT]
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