PB Origins

Under the guardianship of its catalyst, sound-sculptor, and drummer; Click Dark, President's Breakfast (P.B.) is a collective of some of the Bay Area's most talented Jazz and Funk musicians. Deemed "a five year science project" by Dark, P.B. emerged from initial experiments in 1987 with the Wide Concept Orchestra at the New Performance Gallery and the Lab. Its goal was and still is to fuse cold blooded electronics with hot blooded Funk, and make the resultant monster dance; Dub style !

"Official" Publicity Photo of Click Dark:

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"Dr. Funkenstein Meets the Mad Hatter in the soul of Click Dark"

SF Weekly (Ann Powers) Sept 25, 1990

"Tell yo mama to bring the kitchen sink"

"President's Breakfast is your ticket to progressive Funk heaven"

Ife (Darren Bergstein) Aug 1995

"President's Breakfast debut recording helped draw early attention to the Bay Area's rich Jazz-Funk scene"

Bay Guardian (Jason Fine) Jan 25, 95

"President's Breakfast delivers a fiery mix of be-bop, hip-hop, synthesized noise and Dub-style production technique"

SF Chronicle (Michael Snyder) Jan 2, 95

" Heavens they're Funky"

Bay Guardian (Chris Norris) June 10th '92

"The music creates a resonance that makes most parts of my home quite unlivable"

Neighbor (Georgia Perky)

"It's too Funky"

Distributor (Steve Feigenbaum) 1990

"President's Breakfast may be the closest thing to the Big Bang that the Bay Area music scene has"

SF Weekly (Ann Powers) 1991


Option Nov 1989

" Prime slabs of buttery Funk heaped with piping-hot Jazz, garnished with Rap and Raggae. "

Wired (Colin Berry) May 1995

"Twisted, organic intelligence and serious mind games"

Straight No Chaser (CK Smart)

"This is what Acid Jazz might sound like if it was really on drugs and had anything to do with genuine Jazz: solid playing, free improvisation, and no bullshit."

Jazz Tangents (Dan Whitworth)



Primative Graphics?

Sound Choice Spring 1990 President's Breakfast LP

Once you get past the very primitive graphics of the LP by President's Breakfast, you'll find some way low-down industrio-jazz-avant-Funk-dub-ola-noise that sounds like a bunch of ultra-hip New Yorkers at a late-night loft party; but this time it's under control, they're all somehow on the same astral plane and it works.--Lorry Fleming

Lorry Fleming

Rhythm magazine April 1990

For starters, President's Breakfast has one of the most entertaining LP sleeves in recent memory. On the front sleeve we have a ravenous youngster chowing heartily on a bowl of (ahem) plastic soldiers and milk, some of whom spring to life in animated motion and walk towards us. On the reverse we have a small cartoon of DiscLexia (the record label), depicting a row of stores with Underwater Funk Dancing on the corner. The album credits include such bizarre sounding characters as Hegasaurus, Gonzalo Paz, Jimmy deWash, Jim Campilongo, and of course Click Dark, the writer, arranger, and brainchild of the whole project.
Why dote over the sleeve for an entire paragraph? Well, it provides a glimpse at the type of creative mind we're dealing with on this most unorthodox, if not playfully deranged effort. A small photo on the reverse side of the cover shows nearly ten crates of vinyl in the background, hinting that this music is a cross section of everything-a modern dub stew that you can dance to. Perhaps Parliment Funkadelic meets Skinny Puppy meets the Sugarhill Gang, sans the in-your-face vocals. Something in that radius. Alternative/Dance music that's fun, different, and definitely the product of some smart, street, down dudes, unfortunately (perhaps) over (or behind, depending on your perspective) the heads of your average John Q. Dancefan.
The "tooneroonies" common denominator is a loose-if undefined-stucture, threaded together with the dance grooves, but often resembling the sonic anarchy of city streets, presented in a dramatically different aesthetic fashion than say, Ornette Coleman. "Goosebumps" skillfully translates the sound into that exact feeling running up your spine, and "Nastified" has enough live Funk quotient to appear on a sequel-to-Superfly soundtrack. But many of the tunes maintain a concious anti-focus, allowing the hook grooves to fade as a passing thought. That's a heady way to get your musical rocks off, but it probably won't sell many records. It depends on your aim. (I dug it a lot, though.)

Gene Ferriter

Jazz Tangents, Jan 1996

The brainchild of percussionist Click Dark, President's Breakfast is a healthy (if twisted) conglomeration of Bay Area musicians (including Will Bernard) who aren't afraid to stretch. This is what Acid Jazz might sound like if it was really on drugs and had anything to do with genuine Jazz: solid playing, free improvisation, and no bullshit.

Bay Guardian, Apr 17, 1996

"BBQ for Breakfast"

If you listen closely to "Bar-B-Que Dali", President's Breakfast's new album,you can almost detect the juicy sound of sauce dripping from chicken and ribs. In fact, you can hear some of the licking and smacking that went on as Click Dark and friends polished off their takeout from Doug's Barbecue in Emeryville during a recording session at Annie's Hall in Berkeley. And though there's no title track as such, producer and drummer Bill Langton (a.k.a. Click Dark) says "It's Hot" neatly embodies the spirit of the record; it features clarinetist Don Byron reacting at length to the fire of a spicy jalepeno: "Whoo! Damn! Whoo, boy, that's hot!"
Other noises that crop up on Bar-B-Que Dali include what sound like telephone tones, typewriter-carriage returns, things being dropped on the floor, hand claps, radio transmissions, tongue clicks, and mouths going "ththtptpth". But make no mistake: these 13 tracks are about music. It's just that Langton harbors unconventional ideas about what is musicial, and he has recruited such musicians as keyboardist Dred Scott, bassist Nate Pitts and guitarist Will Bernard to join him on his forays into the thorny improvisational wilderness.
"To me," Langton explained during preparations for Thursday night's CD-release extravaganza at Cafe du Nord, "the analog of a President's Breakfast show would be, walking down the street and hearing a car door close, and all of a sudden you realize that it was on the backbeat of a some Hip-Hop tune coming out of a pickup truck driving down the block, and then it turns out the pickup truck is going away at 25 miles per hour or so, creating a kind of a Doppler effect, and you realize there's a plane going in the opposite direction buzzing up and down, and a couple of people talking, and then maybe some music comming out of the burrito shop you're passing by. That all of those things can coincide and relate is the thing I'm trying to reveal.
Whew. Bar-B-Que Dali is indeed noisy, but it doesn't really feel as random as Langton's hypothetical urban scenario. The percussionist and his collaborators push their instruments to their sound-making limits, but over the course of five 8-10 hour days - with healthy breaks for socializing and, in Langton's words "letting the vibe get to us, and getting beyond the notes and harmonies and melodies into some other realm" - they developed an empathy that translated, amid the clatter, into an uncanny musicial cohesiveness.
"Among the other conspiracies I've wanted to unleash on the people, I've wanted to have a rhythm section capable of backing up just about anybody that would come through town," Langton says "People like Dred, Will and Nate have enough of a handle on their instruments and on various genres to be able to pull it off."
Other than one edit - a repeated 50 second section of "Bit My Tongue" that, for Langton, recreated the feeling of getting zapped with 1,200 watts by a refrigerator he'd been working on - Bar-B-Que Dali is a live recording of "100 percent improvised music," something Langton has wanted to capture for a long time. He's performed in strictly extemporaneous contexts with Dred Scott, Francis Wong, Robert Haven, Glenn Spearman, Eliott Sharp, also in or with these bands; Scatter Tactics, Splatter Trio and Paradigm (an electro-acoustic, sound text poetry 1980's trio).
For many Jazz and Improv fans, the main attraction of this recording (the third by President's Breakfast and the fourth by Langton in "Dark" incarnation) will be the presence of Don Bryon. A contemporary musicial giant acclaimed for his clarinet virtuosity, his Klezmer experiments (including his revival of Mickey Katz's music), and his original compositions on Tuskeegee Experiments and Music For 6 Musicians, Byron first crossed paths with Langton, a native San Franciscan, at the New England Conservatory of Music; their stays there overlapped from 1979 to 1981.
" We've kept in touch since then but haven't had a chance to play together," Langton says. "(For this project) I tried to gather the people I thought would react well off each other, and I knew Don would work. You could take almost anything - personality quirks or political views or whatever - and between Nate, Will, Don and Dred there would be an entire spectrum, a continuum from one end to the other. Musicially, everybody had a really wide timbral range to draw from and could therefore cover a lot of ground. So we could get an interplay that would have a lot to do with color and sound bouncing around the room. The stretchability of everybody is what I think makes it work."
That "stretchability" has been an essential ingrediant not only of President's Breakfast since its earliest, more electronic, Rock-and Funk-oriented manifestation in 1988, but also of Langton's own evolving understanding of music. He grew up in the Filmore and Mission districts (of S.F.), steeped in Funk and absorbing lessons about "subverting the groove." After living for several years in and around keybordist Merl Saunders's house and hanging out at Keystone Korner Jazz Club in North Beach listening to such genre-benders as Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor, and Sun Ra, Langton realized in teens that "nothing other than music had so much unspoken power - the ability to affect me emotionally, give me goose bumps, or make me laugh."
After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, Langton returned to the Bay Area in 1981 and played drums (as Click Dark) in the Appliances. He also continued his musicial studies at San Jose State, pushing the boundaries under the influence of Alan Strange and Dan Wyman. "In school I always did two sets of exercises - one for the behoovement of the assignment and then another that was breaking all those rules," Langton says. "I really do a lot of unlearning what I learned."
By 1988 Langton "was looking for an excuse to assault the world in a multigenre kind of way. President's Breakfast is actually more an attitude or motivation than it is the name of an end result. We definitely have a lot of elements in common with Jazz or Funk, or with Rock on occasion, as well as compositional elements which are similar to New Music and, hopefully, even theatrical elements similar to The Art Ensemble of Chicago."
Langton's need to keep things diverse has resulted in the emergence of his multiple identities: Bill the bandleader, producer, and proprietor of Disc Lexia Records; Click the percussionist; and most recently singer Leg Bone Schenectady, "who killed the last vocalist Moe Dark; in a fight over a parking space." It also prevents him from taking " normal music gigs; instead, he is likely to show up "in the cracks" of CD's by Consolidated, the Watts Prophets, or Alphabet Soup; write music for a Sprint commercial; cook pizzas; or drive a Cab. Summing up his life in a way that also distills the recipe for President's Breakfast, he says "As long as nothing gets too regular, it's good."

Derk Richardson

Read what critics say about P.B.:

Pulse Magazine (Marc Weidenbaum), October 1995

SF Weekly (Sam Prestianni), April 17-23, 1996

San Franclsco Bay Guardian (Derk Richardson), January 25, 1995

San Franclsco Bay Guardian (Sam Prestianni), March 24, 1993

Cereal Thriller (Derk Richardson)

One World Beat, Bam magazine (Jonathan E.)

CMJ New Music Report, Dec 1 1989

Rolling Stone (David Fricke), Jan 25 1990

DOWN BEAT (Larry Birnbaum), Jan 1997

Wired (Colin Berry), May 1995

Pulse Magazine (Marc Weidenbaum), October 1995

Much has been made of late of the brave new dub-influenced pop tunes wafting across the Atlantic. All manner of this danceable British Music, form the ambient-techno encounters of Aphex Twin to the dreamy songs of Tricky and Portishead, is permeated by dub, a meditative methadology that originated a quarter of century ago in Jamaica, the home of reggae.

More quietly - if anything can be said to be quiteter than ambient music- a dub
revival is also coalescing in the United States. But aside from the Beastie Boys, whose percussion-and-organ instrumentals betray youths spent under the spell of such Jamaican inovators as Lee "Scratch" Perry and Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, none of the dub-influenced U.S. rock bands have achieved the notoriety of the U.K brethren. Such groups as the Dub Narcotic Sound System (from Olympia Wash) and President's Breakfast (from San Francisco) are using dub as a creative launch pad, but their work is too disparate to fit easily under a rubric like "trip-hop," the umbrella term for much of the new British dub-influenced pop.

Dub's rise in America is particularly strong on the West Coast, whose beach culture would make for a nice climatic correlation with Jamaica if dub-a studio art-weren't by nature an indoor activity. (Well, there's always the hemp connection.)

A little history. In dub, a song's backing tracks are treated with simple studio effects to create new versions. These dub compositions focus the listner's attention not on the familiar strengths of pop music - melody, lyrics, instrumental leads - but on the simple pleasure of a heavily echoed drum reverberating into seeming eternity; or on the repetition of a horn blurt, severed from the original full horn section by liberal use of the mute button. Dub's emphasis on reverberation carves out imaginary spaces for contemplation. - and casual partying. The result is an odd form of spiritual music: one that is imdebted to technology, however primitive.

The founders of this movement were such prolific producers such as Augustus Pablo and King Tubby; in their heyday their sound systems, or studios, produced more music than the average-sized record company. Today's dub-influenced pop echoe these pioneers in several ways: by using the dub standards such as unnaturally exaggerated reverb and recycling of riffs and rhythms; by often adoptiing dub's languorous pace; and most importantly, by conveying the implicit message that technology is not the enemy of humanity, but a tool of artistic expression and personal reflection.

(Island Records, for one, has recognized the new dub explosion with a series of historical reissues, off to a great start with a Pablo overview, Classic Rockers, and an updated edition of the Raiders of the Lost Dub compilation, now titled Time Warp Dub Clash.)

In drawing from dub for inspiration, Apex Twin, Tricky and their U.K. cohort are simply the latest in a British line of reverse assimilation that includes the Clash, the Specials, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones; U.K. pop's creative debt stretches back almost half a century, to the first wave of Jamaican emigration to the colonial parent.

Lacking a prominent Jamaican community on the order of England's, America has allowed for more diffused absorbtion of dub's musical lessons, in settings that include everything from Meters-style pop instrumentals to highly experimental Jazz.

Bill Langton, like Dub Narcotic's Johnson, champions dub as a process, or metaphor-more means than end. "I guess our dub sounds pretty different from the normal dub, stripped away stuff," says the leader of Presiednt's Breakfast from his home in San Francisco. Among the band's members are guitarist Will Bernard (T.J. Kirk) and keyboardest Dred Scott (Alphabet Soup); widely recorded saxophonest Glenn Spearman guests. President's Breakfast's recent sophomore album, Doo Process (Disclexia), is a wildly experimental mix of studio invention and live performance. "We certainly try to revere the form," says Langton, who goes by the name of Click Dark, "and put other stuff on it that might also give you some idea of a relationship between dub and jazz and funk."

Doo Process is thick with dub resonances, but what truly places the band in the tradition of Jamaica's studio innovators is its ability to combine Langton's studio technology with live improvisation. "Odpharb" is virtual reggae, with spnggy beat and ska horn section, or the band's take on Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti," here rendered as low rider anthem.

The album's finest track "Sounds Spectacular," makes a deep impression with it's thin array of samples and riffs, which the band works into an incredibly rarified brand of funk. "Its very much an excursion into sculpting," he says. "I filled up what must have been 40 or 50 tracks, full of horns and synthesizers, and gradually came to strip away so much that literally 15 percent of the total sound is all that I had left anymore. I was just shaving more and more rock and was eventually left with this Brancusi form sticking out in the middle."

And despite the heavy emphasis on prerecorded material, Langton insists that the band thrives on live performance. The most exciting material on Doo Process is when the musicians are clearly interacting with Langton's sampling, and where Langton is responding to their ideas with his array of effects. In February Langton's Disclexia label will release Wood Squares by Bar-B-Que Dali, a live collaboration between key members of President's Breakfast and clarinetist Don Byron (like Langton a New England Conservatory of Music alum).

Marc Weidenbaum

SF Weekly, April 17-23, 1996

President's Breakfast
Bar B Que Dali (disclexia)

A street-wise white kid growing up in the Black Power-era Fillmore and Mission (districts of SF), President's Breakfast bandleader and drum mer Bill Langton, aka Click Dark, was reared on cultural cross-pollination. He immersed himself in multimediaÑtelevision, video, cormputer, electronics and unsurprisingly, multigenre pastiche seemed the natural point of flight when Dark eventually took up musical composition. So about five years back, President's Breakfast was born, an outlet for all of Dark's influences. Anchored by slamming backbeats and funky bass, PB explored a thickly layered, chaotic inte gration of avant-jazz saxophone, vinyl scratching, provocative samples, and screaming guitar, all tightly bound together by squiggly strands of electronics. Despite Dark's fondness for the scripted safefy of funk, his schizoid soul led him to the "100% improv" Bar-B- Que Dali project. Core PB members Dark, Dred Scott (piano), Nate Pitts (bass), and Will Bernard (guitar) teamed up with Dark's former New England Conservatory schoolmate and internationally renowned clarinetist Don Byron, rented out Annie's Hall in Berkeley, and eventually whittled about nine hours of spontaneous material into a one-hour CD. Those accustomed to PB's locked-in structures are in for a surprise. First off, all of Bar-B- Que Dali's performers augment their principal playing with extended techniques on "prepared" instruments or through the use of a battery of electronic effects. And the occasional grooves are determinedly not of the danceable variety, but roomy, chunky, and clunky, not unlike the rhythm of falling backwards down a massive spiral staircase. Ultimately, the songs tend to focus on kaleidoscopic sound portraits of constantly shifting tonal colors and textural juxtapositions, from delicate nuances to forceful crescendos. More than a nutritional supplement. record release party, featuring Don Byron, happens Thurs, April 18, at Cafe Du Nord

Sam Prestianni

San Franclsco Bay Guardian, January 25, 1995

President's Breakfast
Doo Process (Disc Lexia)

Anyone feeling disenfranchised by the recent exploits and breast-beating of the philistines will find much needed nourishment in the extemporaneous noise, deliberate pounding beats, and oppositional sentiments of Doo Process. The Bay Area's P.B. isn't musically p.c. enough (in the Newt Gingrich revised version) to win any NEA grants, for it unites a motley posse of artistic constituencies that scare the shit out of the self appointed guardians of American culture: improvisers inspired by Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Miles Davis, and Jimi Hendrix; rhythm makers indebted to Sly Stone and (George Clinton; deejays and rappers informed by Adrian Sherwood and Public Enemy; and electronic musicians shaping Swiss cheese space sculptures where only imagination existed bcfore.

Organized by drummer/composer Click Dark and featuring a rotating breakfast club that includes Dred Scott, Will Bernard, Kenny Brooks, Glenn Spearman, Chris Burger, and others, P.B.'s second helping is a full course sampling of all its influences, with the balance among funky grooves. Eraserhead noise, sonic tweaks, and out-jazz wailing shifting from one intriguing original tune to the next, with Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti" as classic spice. President's Breakrasf plays Wed 25, 9:30 p.m., DNA Lounge, 375 11 th St., S.F. -

Derk Richardson

San Franclsco Bay Guardian March 24, 1993

Moe Dark and the Love Posse o McGarrett is a Verb "Disclexia Records"

In a world of televised chaos, one that's programmed us to soak up mixed, multilayered, and often gruesome messages with nary a neuron firing, Moe Dark and the Love Posse are true renegades; cyberfunksters of the air. Clearly warped by thousands of hours spent in front of the tube, producer/crooner/rapper Moe Dark is bent on making the torrent of cathode-ray image and sound pulsing in his subconscious work for him, not on him, as he crafts a music founded on a similarly layered and hypnotic plane.

With a title track named for Hawaii Five O's leading man, McGarrett works an exhilarating dementia of fully funkedelicized hip hop, mammoth bottom-end, video game cacophony, and live JB's style horns all spiced with the American esperanto of late-night TV. And since television merely occupies the space between the commercials, the prodigious samples and Iyrics also draw on ad copy: Dark busts sponsor-like on the booming title track, gives product placement in the avant-funky ~New the Bee Sump'n (Man oh Manischewitz), and hucksters madly in twanging Duane Eddy-ish "Lawn Dairy Matt". Even this album gets a plug on one cut, which is the sole commercial I'll endorse myself. Ultimately way more engaging than the TV shows it ganks, the cool school groove, supersonic density, and synchronized dub of McGarrett makes for an infectious mix unlike any music I've ever heard. Turn off the tube. Tune in to the Love Poss~ Moe Dark and the Love Posse play a release party Fri/26 at the Elbo Room, SF.

Sam Prestianni


It's not every day you get a chance to be on a record, especialiy one as cool as the next release by avant funksters President's Breakfast. This Thursday's jazz-strangling free for-all(a live recording) offers a chance to get in on the fun as the Breakfast makes tracks toward next album Doo Process.

The most recent one, Presldent's Breakfast, was a wild melange of bottom-heavy funk, grinding industrial textures, and a hypno-jazz horn section the kind of music you could play In your lowered LTD cruising through an urban wasteland with your shades on.

Presided over by the enigmatic drummer Click Dark, the Breakfast is a band of rotating personnel who speclalize In chaotic funk improv. The roster usually includes the more tweaked members of the local jazz and new-music communities, along with soundpeople who use postprocessing wizardry to add a dub veneer to the already hallucinogenic sound. Tunes often blend samples of crickets and crashlng bowling pins, bigtime beats, and funky Miles Davis-y heads that deconstruct themselves throughout the song. Tempos fluctuate willfully, sometimes staggering to a bone crunching stop, and the open structures leave plenty of room for blowing.

With the all-star group Mr. Dark has assembled for the evening, this blowing should be quite a hoot. Local perfommance artist and singer Pamela Z lends her beautiful voice and sonic box of tricks to the P.B. experience, and the Splatter Trio's own saxman, Dave Barrett, beefs up the horn section. The mighty thumb of bassist Nate Pitts anchors the rhythm section, while toys, pots, pans, and other household items work their way into the banging experiments of percussionist John Keith.

So, dig the President's Breakfast manifesto and see if it applies to you: 'The reins be loose, but the aim be true. We whip the electronics into shape, not the other way around. Our approach to technoiogy is irreverent: The computer program on the fritz, about to crash, it issues a gigantic belch.... We are ready. We sample it, add some distortion, and use it at the next concert. Eight-track tape players with Tony Bennett, left uppercut to Mao's Jaw, red tights, a 5-foot wrist watch, a trash can named 'Desire' ... some poor Jazz standard strangies onstage. Does any of that make sense to you?~ See you there. President's

Breakfast, 9 pm, Thurs/26, Olive Oil's, Pier 50, Chlna Basln, SF. $5-$4. 550~209. Advance Uckets available at Amoeba, Aquarius, and Auricular record stores.

Chris Norris

One World Beat, Bam magazine

McGarrett Is a Verb from the Love Posse with Moe Dark (Disc Lexia, 1707 33rd Ave., SF, CA94122; 415/ 664-9702) may be one of those cultural creations beyond Clinton's and many other people's current comprehension. Which is ironic since it's a sample heavy stroll through a strange electronic zoo of culturally caged sounds, where things are distorted and mutated so that familiar sounds seem to come from another dimension. Stylistically, it falls into the "Wildly Original" music bag, although I suppose you could also call it a slow rolling funk with loose Sly Stone tendencies, Captain Beefheart-like wordplay, a massive bass foundation, and tinges of reggae. Then toss in a few references to Miles Davis,James Brown, and Kraftwerk! The title track is a masterpiece of skewed dance-pop sensibilities and no, I don't know what it means either, Mr. Jones. But once it's in your organs, it won't leave easily. Jackdawed soundbites sink into the gooey embrace of solid groove bonder while ethereal proto and animal sounds burble up from the depths, glisten for a moment in the mix, only to be reabsorbed into the ooze without a trace. Jagged edges get smeared by grainy textures as the mysterious lyrics disjoint and reassemble themselves while slithering through such topics as religious upbringing, sex ("ganking" in this universe), and doing the laundry. The mood is dark and dramatic, verging on the demented. Often this sort of music sinks under its pretensions or technical incompetence, but Mr. Dark and the Love Posse have successfully skirted those twin dilemmae. Yep, it's sonic and psychic exploration at its finest!

Jonalhan E.

CMJ New Music Report, Dec 1 1989

PRESIDENT'S BREAKFAST This effusive and cataclysmically honking ten-piece has come out with one of the ultra-spaciest, wide-lensed zooms into the dub stratosphere we've heard this year. Led by arranger/com poser/master of the drumbeat Click Dark, this debut has been five years in the making and is so jumbled with interstellar grooves it may take years to sort them all out. The base of operations here is pure funk that's carried as far out as the rings around Saturn (scratch that, Neptune) and back, sucking odd sampled proturberances (not much in the way of vocals, but there's plenty of dialogue), jazzed-up horn lines, Afro-centered rhythmic forays and simple post-nuclear weirdness up in the process. The simultaneously frantic and expansive loopiness that President's Breakfast locks into has more than a shred of resemblance to the more ambitious inhabitants of Adrian Sherwood's dub shack, but the range of their musical building blocks and their willingness to go leaping into the altitudes without a parachute puts them in their own explorers club. Occasionally some of the longish cuts noodle themselves right into thin air, but there's always some unexpectedly convulsive twist around the next bend to get them back on track, making us glad they've chosen this planet to bestow their works upon. Top cuts: "Lonely Woman" (an Ornette Coleman cover), "They Defy Gravity," "Goosebumps" and the title track.

Rolling Stone, Jan 25 1990

The long shadow of Ornette Coleman also passes over the debut album by President's Breakfast (Disc Lexia LP or CD), which includes a fanciful art-funk stab at Coleman's "Lonely Woman." But this ten piece San Francisco posse has more to do with the dub 'n' dance-floor science of Material and Tackhead, spiced with Hendrixian guitar, deep reggae riddim and P-Funk madness -

David Fricke

DOWN BEAT, Jan 1997

President's Breakfast Bar.B.Que Dali Disclexia 008 On Bar.B.Que Dali, Byron appears as a guest with the rhythm section of President's Breakfast, an avant-dub band on the order of Tackhead or Material. For this collaboration, instigated by Breakfast's drummer/leader (and Byron's former classmate) Click Dark, thc group forsakes funky rhythms in favor of improvised atmospherics. Using convcntional instruments as well as prepared piano and assortcd electronic gizmos, thc musicians chortle pop, groan and bleat, creating Edgard Varese-like soundscapes that at times suggest a vacuum cleaner at a pingpong tournament or a Nintendo game in a barnyard. Byron plays lead on tracks like "That'll Show 'Em" and "Escalators" but mostly burbles bass clarinet. The music sustains interest wilhout much recourse to melody, harmony or tempo, but a little of it goes a long way. Larry Birnbaum

Larry Birnbaum

Wired Magazine, May 1995

Doo Process features prime slabs of buttery funk heaped with piping-hot jazz, garnished with rap and raggae. Try the spicy "Yaah!" or the more palatable opener, "Gank Dub". President's Breakfast reminds you of Clinton all right ...GEORGE CLINTON. Grab yourself a plate.

Colin Berry



Jazziz June 1996

"It's my mission in life to subvert the groove ever so slightly", confesses the formerly enigmatic drummer, composer, and band leader, Click Dark (San Francisco native Bill Langton). After more than a dozen years on the Bay Area's cutting-edge music scene, in a host of different guises, Langton has emerged from behind the curtain with his second project for President's Breakfast, a local musicial alliance featuring some of the Bay Area's hottest young Jazz and Funk players. PB follows its first self-produced "five-year-science-project" - a dazzling 1990 hybrid of "cold-blooded electronics with hot blooded Funk", according to the groups publicist- with the release of "Doo Process" (Disc Lexia). "Doo Process" features Langton and the core of the Hip Hop-Jazz troupe Alphabet Soup; keyboardist Dred Scott, saxophonist Kenny Brooks, and vocalist Chris Burger joined by a slew of local musicians, a turntable scratcher, two signal processors, and a Radio Shack full of electronic gimmickry. Along with what Langton calls " packaged chaos over a Funk groove" comes one or another of his various on-stage personalities, suited to fit most any musicial occasion. "It's really just a way for me to be able to persue all these different genres, without having to worry about being categorized", says Langton, 36, about his various personae. "I don't want to be pigeonholed as a Jazz band, or a Funk band, because obviously there's a lot more happening". The clash of two musicial styles at the heart of PB -electronic and acoustic- form a great part of PB's raison d'etre...and Langton's own musicial mission. His Sly Stone-influenced Funk groove on "No Lie"- one of ten tracks on "Doo Process"- typifies the collision course his music has taken since Langton's days with the Wide Concept Orchestra in the late 80's. "That kind of tune codifies what our first five years were about-having various tunes collide against each other. Taking songs that seemingly exist in seperate universes, and trying to find that point of intersection, which creates this larger cacophony". The results aren't for the timid, or the Jazz purist, by any stretch of the imagination. Funked up and furious, "DooProcess" packs the radiant, unbridled energy of a carnival cyclotron at full tilt.

Wayne Saroyan

Ear magazine Sept 1989

The Post-Onu-Sound/Adrian Sherwood age is finally here. This San Francisco group, in their first self-produced and self-distributed release, are innovating on the style of these innovators. The groove demands attention no matter how tight your ass is. It is a dance thang that does not dwell in repition. They break fast without the slightest inhibitions, finding the right mix between meticulous processing and a hold-on-to-your-gravity mean Funk. What P-Funk defined through sweat, what Tackhead renamed as head damage, President's Breakfast has refined in their off-the-cuff technological posey as the "Super-low Ultra-heavy Bass-type Oscillations." You're in for a good time; President's Breakfast will blow your mind through your body, cutting out the middleman who tries to explain the meaning before you can dance to it.

Christof Migone

Parabrisas July 1995

You've got to love anything from a man who calls himself Click Dark. It's just one of the laws of physics. Not that the laws of physics apply to President's Breakfast however. The natural, lawful order that holds matter together and gives foundation to the construction of our sanity is quite politely ignored by this San Francisco Bay Area Funk/Acid Jazz ensemble. Instead, the theory of chaos seems to hold true; controlled chaos, that is.
Socially-concious and anti-status-quo describes both the music and the message of President's Breakfast. With a great cover photo, utilizing dolls and cut-outs, of a trial in which Bullwinkle is the judge, the Kansas City Monarchs Negro League baseball team is the jury and such personages as the Beatles, the Dali Lama and Alvin the Chipmunk (actually Theodore) are in the gallery, "Doo Process" is a journey to the farthest reaches of the Jazz/Funk universe. Most of the tracks were recorded live at a performance in 1993. And like viewing the photos from unmaned spacecraft on their journey through the solar system, listening to the CD version of that performance is spectacular, but it makes you wish you could be there in person to witness the marvel of it all firsthand.
The second release from President's Breakfast, "Doo Process" combines electronics and Funk into a combustible mix of atmospheres and low down grooves. The title song itself provides a slow, anciennt, electronic beat colored with a lazy Jazz soup of brass, bass and organ.
Opening the album is "Gank Dub", a Funk groove that meets musicially somewhere in the territory between George Clinton and Miles Davis. "Sounds spectacular" relies heavily on samples and loops to drive its dark beat. "Ulahtee Bobo" is pure improvisational Jazz chaos at its ultimate. A great cover of Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti" blends itself into the album like a chameleon as well. Indeed, President's Breakfast has things in common with the work of Shorter's Weather Report, as well as Bill Laswell's Material.
Those who love Acid Jazz, highly-creative Funk or any of the artists compared to above, write to the address below. You won't be sorry.


Ife magazine Aug 1995

Oh my! You needn't waste time waiting for the next Laswell/Material free-for-all-President's Breakfast is your ticket to progressive Funk heaven. Recalling the development days of early Material (circa Temporary Music and Memory Serves) and Argarta-era Miles Davis, this is a veritable melting pot of of gutbucket bass, sizzling guitars, feverish electronics and boiling rhythms. Out of a revolving ensemble of ten members comes some of the best urban lowdown razzmajazz in ages; for starters, "No Lie" lays down a killer Funk bassline around some insidiously intense rhythms, while "C" is a dark examination of space music filtered through musique concrete and inner city grit, replete with analog noodling and dirty sax. They even cover Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti", stretching electronics, guitars and sax around a hesitant, sometimes noisy and apprehensive vibe. Dynamite.

Darren Bergstein

SF Weekly May 17, 95

It's not only presidents who face an unpredictable combination of events and crises over breackfast each day; we're all bombarded by a rapidly changing collage of sights, sounds and tactile stimulations as we try to go about our daily lives. That's why President's Breakfast
-a seemless combination of Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop, Improv, Dub and Avant Garde-is the closest thing to a soundtrack for contemporary life around. But unlike real life, there are no walls of noise or competing soloists here. The Doo Process mix allows you to hear the contributions of individual players as they treat you to everything from get-off-your-ass-and-dance break beats, fantastic blasts of horns and hard-edged raps to even the spacey whirling of a hovering UFO. Percussionist extraordinaire is the groups mastermind; core collaborators are bassist Nate Pitts, keyboardist Dred Scott, saxophonist John Yi, guitar Will Bernard, trombonist Squantch and percussionist Jeremy Brooks. The musical mosaic is rounded out by guests like rapper Chris Burger, saxophonists Kenny Brooks and Glenn Spearman, DJ Titus Pierce and sampler Ed Hermann. With those ingredients, Doo Process is a nutritious way to start the day.

Liz Sizensky

Alternative Press Nov 24 1989

What is President's Breakfast? Well, they definitely have a late night urban cafe feel about them, successfully mixing an eclectic Jazz style with heavy Funk and distortion.
The majority of the album is instrumental, centering around a heavy and a goodly amount of sampling. The lyrics that are present in such songs as "Mask" and "They Defy Gravity" are politically and socially motivated, geared toward support of the masses. The master mind of President's Breakfast, Click Dark, has done a good job of drawing from various nuetral and leftwing sources in developing the direction of this album.
The samples are also well done. Case in point: the title track of this album concerns itself with the bureaucracy and political maneuvering of the federal government ("Did you ever get the feeling that the people who run this country had too much steroids for breakfast?").
I like their style-the music moves but in a casual manner. It's their refreshing attitude about the music which draws me to them.

Steven Petrovic

The New Review of Records Feb 1996

San Francisco has spawned simultaneous Free Jazz and Dance Music scenes, which share little except radical politics. This CD attempts to alter that-no easy task since Free Jazz depends on improvisatory and rhythmic unpredictability, something at odds with the repetition necessary for rump-shaking. Consequently, the disc digs heavily into '70's-Funky Miles Davis who mastered this sort of challenge (they cover "Nefertiti"). Veteran S.F.-area players here show an honest interest in a true fusion, not merely a compromise.

D. Straus

Sound Choice Spring 1990 President's Breakfast LP

The last LP I remember hearing that truly breathed new life into Funk's tired, beaten corpse was Material's 'Memory Serves' back in...god!, was it eight years ago? Thank goodness for President's Breakfast! When it comes to combining fearless creativity with a skeleton-shattering beat, they're on the fucking one. Bone-rattling and highly idiosyncratic bass-work, (Bill Laswell, stand back!) by Nate "world's biggest thumb" Pitts providing an earth's core rooting for the angular and shifting mania up top. Check out the creative meshing of trad-Funk digital drum programing/dub elements/sampling-w-scratcha-chunka-thumpa nuthouse percussives, post-Chic Niles Rodgeresque cheez-grater rhythm guitar stylings, a garage fulla things that go toot in the night, and media excerpts a la Kalahari Surfers horsin' wif yo political stance. The brain-child of someone called Click Dark, his percussives glue the whole 10-person ball'a spunk together. Gotcha a Mothers of Invention sense of humor sweepin' laughs from under the carpet, some acorn-ripping guitar wipeout solos, and plenty of unknown honkz, brapz'n clonkz that just plain sound cool! Wait'll y'hear their cover of Ornette
Coleman's 'Lonely Woman'! Easily, the most satisfying slab I've shaken my ass-cheecks to in years.

B.H. Hart

Cups #61 1996

Drummer/Producer/mastermind Click Dark high fives peers Adrian Sherwood and Bill Laswell with this out-jazz-mackin' funkadubadelic experimental slap-ma-bap upside the wheezing gray head of that fat, decaying Godzilla known as corporate music formulism. Lassoing local talents like Glenn Spearman, Kenny Brooks and Dred Scott into the mix, Dark pours recklessly from beaker to beaker, cranking out a Bunsen-burned mess of bizarre and rhythmically astute excursions into the yowling heart of groove. Just say "Doo".

Ron Nachman

Rockpool newsletter Nov 15 1989

No need to take a guess at this band's influences or compare them to people like Tackhead, Aswad, or Bill Laswell; the band lists them along with Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, James Brown and others in the "Yo' Shit Be Bad" club. This ten-man band from San Francisco are as versatile as that list, delving but never dabbling in Funk jams with seemingly sampled (because they are repetitive and a part of the rhythm) lyrics that protest political injustice ("They Defy Gravity"). They also offer up an interesting theory on why our world leaders are the way they are on the title track ("You ever get the feeling/That our leaders/Have too much steroids for breakfast?"). An impressive debut from a band that can include themselves in the ranks of exciting genre-busters (which is becoming a genre in itself) for the 90's.

Jason Cohen

1989 'New Music America' festival biography Nov 16 at CBGB's in New York City

"We be honkin' and squealin' ," announces Click Dark, founding member of San Francisco's ten-person President's Breakfast band. Dedicated to an aesthetic of contrast and collision,
the group fuses African and Afro-American rhythmic influences with current sound processing and sampling technology into a hybrid, Industrial Funk . In highly structured live improvisations, the band shreds its raging horn section, noise guitars, percussion and brewed-up samples thru live mixing and signal processing. President's Breakfast has recently released its eponymous debut album on its own label: Disc Lexia.
"We try to focus on the relationship between certain events that are happening at the same time, but that seem unrelated, like some street person asking you for a dime, game shows and ocean waves. There's so much being presented; you pick and choose what you're going to perceive. And what you perceive changes each time"
"Musics and genres are colliding. Every five years or so Funk collides with Rock and each time they get more and more like each other. Before you know it, we won't be able to tell the difference between them and Jazz and New Music. Then we'll be better off."
" President's Breakfast? I've always had an obsession with the letters P and B. "

" President's Breakfast? I've always had an obsession with the letters P and B. "

Option magazine June 1990

The project of one Click Dark, the hand-painted cover promises "industrial strength Funk inna' Dub Stylee". In a word, what you have is a homemade Tackhead record, and though it may be very imatative, it's also pretty good. The production's not up there with Adrian Sherwood's knob-twiddling, insofar as there's no hi-tech sheen to the recording. But composer Click and his producer Bill Langton do employ all sorts of deconstructive elements in the band's sound, from dub mixes to oddball electronics to strange use of voices (without the now-cliche "found vocal" cluttering everything). Though there's a large group of participating musicians, most of the project is anchored by a proficient, thumb-popping Funk bassist and an equally limber drummer. Some deadpanned lyrics sound simultaneously like bad poetry or ironic improv (it's hard to tell); in other places, this mostly instrumental record heads for space, as in the samples, DX-7 bell tones, and industrial bursts of "Yeah, Wrong Way Out". A cover of Ornette's "Lonely Woman" captures the feel of the tune as much as the melody, in spite of its Funkification. The whole LP feels loose and liberated, and successfully manages to remain unclassifiable.

Beth L.