Personnel: Herbie Hancock (keyboards); Bernard Fowler (vocals); Toshinori Kondo (spoken vocals); Wayne Shorter (lyricon); Henry Kaiser (guitar); Foday Musa Suso (dusunguni, balophone, percussion); Bill Laswell (bass, programming); Anton Fier (drums, cucia, cymbals, gong, percussion); Nicky Scopelitis (electronic drums); Daniel Ponce (bata); Aiyb Dieng (talking drum, bells, chatan); Hamid Drake (cymbals); Grand Mixer D.S.T. (turntables); Will Alexander, Rob Stevens (programming).
Recorded at Evergreen Studio, New York, New York.
Digitally remastered by Mark Wilder (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
The second album in Herbie Hancock's "Techno Trilogy" picks up where FUTURE SHOCK left off, reuniting Hancock with producer Bill Laswell and a multi-culti musical cast (including ubiquitous Laswell guitarist Nicky Scopelitis and Gambian multi-instrumentalist Foday Musa Suso). SOUND SYSTEM tweaks up the intensity level with 808-powered beats and a feeling for the funk, giving club kids the boom in the basement they'd been hoping for.
Henry Kaiser's screaming rock guitar adds to the album's stark otherworldliness on such ravers as "Hardrock." Cascading drum loops and Grandmaster D.S.T.'s flashy turntablism lay down a jackhammer groove on "Metalbeat." Wayne Shorter's snaky Lyricon plays beautifully off Hancock's grand piano over the entrancing Afrobeat of "Karabali." SOUND SYSTEM extends Hancock's musical vision by digging deep into the revelations of FUTURE SHOCK. Once again, he stretches the boundaries of music and technology into adventurous territory.