At the Center is an album by Meat Beat Manifesto, released in 2005 as part of the "Blue Series" of Thirsty Ear records fusing jazz with electronica. Jazz elements had been featured in occasional Meat Beat Manifesto songs over the years, but At the Center is the first outright jazz album in the group's catalog, with bandleader Jack Dangers' collaborators being a trio of prominent jazz players. The album is mostly funk- and fusion-oriented, with a few abstract or free-jazz leaning songs. It consists of instrumentals but has some scattered vocal samples, notably on two songs featuring vintage recordings of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading newspaper classified advertisements (the album's notes misidentify Ferlinghetti as Kenneth Rexroth). At the Center earned mostly positive reviews from critics of both jazz and electronic music. However, Dangers opted to not continue his exploration of jazz on subsequent Meat Beat Manifesto albums.more »
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