Twink’s Take On Experimental Music and Mambo Sauce

This awesome drummer, Twink, who plays for DC’s Mambo Sauce, contacted us and then wrote this sweet piece on her first kit, her mom’s take on her drumming, and go-go music.

I fell in love with drums at the age of 9.  Christmas of ’93, I awakened to a 5 piece, candy-apple red, Mapex drum-set, that my mom assembled wrong, and it was love at first sight. I taught myself how to play listening to old Parliament albums and the first song I learned how to play was “Up for the Down Stroke”.  (That was also when I learned about Dennis Chambers.)  I currently use a 5 piece, Pearl Export series while performing with my band, Mambo Sauce.  I like to call it “vintage” because I’ve had it over fifteen years. I like the older sounding drums because they have a deeper, richer sound.

When I hear the term experimental music, the first word that comes to mind is free.  Its a music that has no rules, no norm — everything is based on feel and emotion.  Your entire environment becomes musical instruments, so the possibilities are infinite.  D.C.’s brand of experimental music is termed “Go-go” – in which people would use empty buckets to create various rhythmic sounds.  Albeit,  Mambo Sauce isn’t your typical DC Go-go band and we don’t use buckets, “The Recipe” is an excellent illustration of experimental music because it’s very avant-garde.

My mother describes my music as divine, incredible, and awesome.  My mother swears by her ability to feel the “melody within the melody” being created by my beats”.  On more than one occasion, she has tried to just sit and listen, but it always seems when I play, my music literally moves her.   But of course, she’s always been biased.

My favorite drummers are:  Clyde Stubblefield, Dennis Chambers, Terri Lynn Carrington, Sheila E., Aaron Spears, and ?uestlove of The Roots.  Clyde Stubblefield started the term “playing on the one” and he is The World’s Most Sampled Drummer.  His pocket/groove is incredible.   Dennis Chambers was the first drummer I studied so of course he’s a fav.  I learned the importance of playing in the pocket from his style.  Parliament’s music is renown for that constant drive today.  And of course, Shelia E. was the first female drummer I ever heard play.  Her percussion skills are awesome. Terri Lynn Carrington was an inspiration to me because she showed me that a female could be a “good” drummer and not just a good “female” drummer.  Aaron Spears is one of my favorites because I feel he added a newness to drumming.  He has an awesome feel for space within music and his timing and drum placements are impeccable.  He makes those drums talk.  ?uestlove is a human metronome.  He stays in the beat, on the beat, within the beat, and over the beat.  When everyone in Hip-hop were using beat machines for drums, he WAS the beat machine.

First photo of Twink by Roy Cox
Photo of Twink on the roof @ a video shoot
Photo with Twink & questlove by Kevin Brown

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  1. I have far too much respect for any female that thrives in what is perceived as a male-dominated industry (regardless of what that industry may be). And the mere fact that I sincerely love music, and Twink is THEE drummer for such an amazing group with the ilk of MAMBO SAUCE… makes me an instant fan. Enjoyed getting this inside look at how she got her start.

    Plus as a man, I mean, its a female… making drums speak.

    How can you not love that.

    – Respect –

  2. Im so excited to see this young lady grace this magazine. While I love this band she really is an outstanding drummer. Im sure she would be a great addition to the great musicians out there. Good luck Twink, and DC,MD,VA got yall back!!! We aint going nowhereeeee!!!!

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