Meat Beat Manifesto, often shortened to Meat Beat or MBM, is an electronic music outfit originally consisting of Jack Dangers and Jonny Stephens formed in 1987 in Swindon, United Kingdom… This was also the hometown of the band XTC, who helped Meat Beat get started. Meat Beat Manifesto are considered a ‘best-kept secret’ in the world of dance music, providing (sometimes unwittingly) the musical starting blocks for young samplists in the know (most notably The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and The Future Sound of London), and helping to form new musical styles, such as big beat and jungle music, with seminal tracks such as God O. D. and Radio Babylon, respectively.
Dangers and Stephens left Perennial Divide in 1988 to record an album, but the tapes were burnt in a studio fire. They then recorded the EP Storm the studio, which found them pigeonholed as an industrial act. In response, they recorded 99% in 1990 which was more techno-influenced. Later that year, they released Armed Audio Warfare, which was an effort to re-record the burned tapes of the would-be debut album.
The band’s live show was conceived as an intense audio-visual experience, with dancers, led by choreographer Marcus Adams, in costumes designed by artist Craig Morrison and video clips accompanying live instruments, sequenced electronic instruments, and live DJing. In the United States, they opened for Nine Inch Nails on their debut national tour in 1990. Adams appeared in many of the band’s promo photos with his trademark “popcorn” hairstyle (mostly shaved, with scattered tufts of braided hair) until Satyricon in 1992.