/ Land Of 1000 Dances / Nik Nak Paddy Whack … After the Watts Riots in South Los Angeles in 1965, the working-class community suffered further with no improvements to the infrastructure and a lack of opportunity. The community felt isolated and left behind. An underfunded educational system contributed to delinquency, and gradually gangs gained strength. The spread of drugs and the accompanying increased crime rate raised the level of violence in neighborhood. In that vicious circle in the early '70s, a group of children in Watts began playing music using junk and scrap metal as instruments. A community activist, Mike Joseph, who worked with "problem" children discovered this eccentric group. He brought them into a studio in Los Angeles and produced a record in 1971 in cooperation with the Watts Writers Workshop and other community groups. The intention was to have them feel a sense of accomplishment. Their instruments included scrap oil drums, iron bars, metal cans & other urban castoffs, which they played with enthusiasm, singing R&B favorites and a kid's song. But it was more than a mere document of child's play. This peerlessly unique musical expression sends a strong message, quite distinct from steel pan music or '80s noise/industrial groups despite a shared use of metal percussion. A tiny but positive change was born in their music, using detritus to create magic.