Busy Child – The Crystal Method (1997)

An exceptionally tight and funky drum loop underpins “Busy Child” a single from The Crystal Method‘s debut album Vegas that truly sealed their place in the big-beat royal circle, placing them comfortably among other alumni of the late nineties post-grunge electronica zeitgeist such as The Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Underworld, and Fatboy Slim.

Synths screech and squeal as they are parsed through old effects pedals to add the duo’s own distinctive colour and a distorted top-end grittiness, to create sci-fi photon sirens.

The first 808 kick at 17 seconds bursts out of the filtered percussion like a distant bomb drop, it echos softly at 20 and a second bomb drops 4 seconds later before the bassline bubbles in for 8 bars before the full percussive onslaught is unleashed.

Two vocal samples repeat, to bring the song together:
The opening line from Pierre’s Phantasy Club‘s 1989 track “Summertime (Is Get Busy Time)” is modulated to make the word “time” sound like “child” – giving the track it’s title and primary hook; and
Rakim explains that he guesses he didn’t know, courtesy of 1991’s “Juice (Know the Ledge)” by Eric B & Rakim – a sample that Scott Kirkland said popped out at him from his walkman while vacuuming his house!

In the early nineties Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan were friends in their hometown of Las Vegas where they worked at the same grocery store and Jordan taught Kirkland how to DJ. Jordan left to pursue working in music production in Los Angeles, leaving Kirkland his regular local club gig to hone his DJ skills. But the pair were to re-unite in Los Angeles by 1993 and started working together as a production duo. One day, Ken & Scott were meeting with a rapper that they were working with and a girl they knew called Crystal was on her way to pick them up; legend has it that rapper referred to this mode of transport as “the Crystal method” as an off-hand joke and the moniker was created.