Craft Recordings celebrates the roots of electronic dance music this summer with a nod to the foundational contributions of a legendary cornerstone of the genre: Twilight 22‘s self-titled LP, which contains the smash-hit and electro-staple, “Electric Kingdom.” This release marks the first-ever official vinyl reissue of Twilight 22, which was cut from the original analog tapes by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters. The seminal LP will be available on vinyl for the first time since its original release on June 22 (6/22).
’80s electro outfit Twilight 22 was led by computer/synth-wiz Gordon Bahary, who teamed with singer and co-songwriter Joseph Saulter to create “Electric Kingdom,”a top 10 single that combined elements of electronic dance music and hip-hop into a singular, undeniably addictive sound. Bahary got his start when he was invited to assist the great Stevie Wonder during the recording of his 1976 classic Songs in the Key of Life. Wonder invited Bahary to help out on his next recording, 1979’s Journey Through the Secret of Plants, for which he produced and programmed synthesizers. Around that time, Bahary met Saulter through a mutual acquaintance (Herbie Hancock), while Bahary was working on Hancock’s Feets Don’t Fail Me Now. Although Saulter was originally a drummer (playing in a Los Angeles-based outfit called Rhythm Ignition), it was his vocal skills that drew the most attention, leading to the formation of Twilight 22 in the early ’80s. Their lone single, “Electric Kingdom,” wasone of the seminal moments for electro, but their 1984 self-titled full-length for Vanguard was their last album before splitting up shortly thereafter.
In an interview, Gordon Bahary said of “Electric Kingdom,” Twilight 22’s smash hit from their sole LP: “I took the most seemingly opposite elements: my father’s middle eastern record collection, and a hip-hop/dance beat and combined them. Then I co-wrote a rap encouraging people to make a positive life for themselves I suppose.” The song would go top ten on the R&B charts and go down in history as one of the major tent-pole hits of the electro genre. In recent years, Rolling Stone included the track on their list of the “20 Greatest Pre-‘Straight Outta Compton’ West Coast Rap Songs.”