Monday, 18 May 2015

Back to Brooklyn - A MONK ONE Mix

It's rare that I post up these days so you know it's gotta be something worthwhile for me to make the effort. As much as this DAILY DIGGERS site is now more of an archive than a current blog, I still like to make a surprise visit here and there to share the dope shit with you. And this shit is definitely dope - MONK ONE has once again put together a mix which I simply can't stop listening to over and over again ad infinitum. The same thing happened with his killer "Breakin' Rocks" mix. And my bonus on hearing it the first time was catching my brother from another mother OXYGEN rock some wild rhymes over a PAUL NICE chop-up of a RIPPLE classic. Suffice to say this is also one of my favourite OG breaks so this felt like a birthday and Christmas rolled into one. If you don't enjoy this mix then you need to clear the wax out of your earholes!
And while you're at it, why not browse through our archive (see right hand column and click the year links) for more of the dope stuff.

Back To Brooklyn on the Underground Railroad by Monk-One on Mixcloud

Monday, 2 March 2015

Reload Your Funkbox

Time to start the week with some pep in your step, and JORUN BOMBAY provides the 80s soundtrack once again with his FUNKBOX RELOAD show for March 2015. If you've not witnessed a FUNKBOX RELOAD show so far then I suggest you get yourself a beverage, sit back relax and turn the volume towards 10. As JORUN says himself, he takes it back further than most DJs will dare to play. This is not just listening gold, it's an education in how to do it.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

It Ain't Hard To Tell

NASTY NAS gets the DAILY DIGGERS gritty remix treatment...

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Funky Business Vol. 2

Here's volume 2 to keep your head nodding through the week. Enjoy.

Funky Business Vol. 2 by Daily Diggers on Mixcloud

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Funky Business Vol. 1

Here's some more DAILY DIGGERS mix action, a little something myself and BEAT DETECTIVE recorded at the end of last summer. Plenty of drum heavy funk, some soundtrack action, some under the radar diamonds, and a few soundbites thrown in for good measure. I hope you enjoy it.

Funky Business Vol. 1 by Daily Diggers on Mixcloud

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Weekend Listening

Breaks, beats, original samples and all that Jazz. Enjoy.

Kid Dyno's Weekend Listening by Daily Diggers on Mixcloud

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Straighten It Out

While we are on the subject of mixes, here's one that I revert back to time and time again: volume2 of JIM SHARP's "Straighten It Out" series. Brixton resident JIM takes us on a seamless journey through his record collection, playing some you may know and some you may not, including some red hot edits of a few classics breaks and beats. Keep your eye on JIM SHARP as he is no slouch when it comes to sharing quality music with the emphasis on flawless mixing. It's a real listening pleasure.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Another Leacy Sureshot

Thanks to my brother from another mother AIDAN ORANGE for sharing this BREAK DJ LEACY vintage beat tape from 1996 which he stumbled upon recently. I remember hearing the first part of this mix as JAMES was compiling it, but never got to listen to the completed tape. Once again we have another LEACY sureshot mix for you - original doubles, b-boys classics, plus a dose of "what the f-ck is that beat" thrown in for good measure. Don't try and imitate as biting is illegal and against the law. Instead, let this inspire you. Thanks AIDAN, and rest in beats JIM!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Right Combination

Myself and BEAT DETECTIVE were lucky enough to be asked once again to join DJ SIGHER on the wheels of steel at his "RIGHT COMBINATION" event at THE BIG CHILL BAR in Brick Lane East London last Sunday. Last year's TRC 25th Anniversary jam at the same venue (also in December) was a great vibe so despite my busy Christmas schedule I had to make it along to this.

I was late to the party but already SIGHER, BEAT DETECTIVE and MATT LOVE had the b-boys throwing down into the circle. Bournemouth legends SECOND TO NONE and London's very own FOUNDATIONZ CREW were going off as I stepped through the door and I was eager to take to the wheels and join the fun. It was great to see so many original heads and familiar faces in the crowd, and I hope we did you all justice in terms of our musical selections. It's the pleasant vibe at events like these that keep me energised for weeks on end, knowing I need to find some more obscure funky beats for the next jam. An extra large "thanks" to SIGHER for organising another memorable jam.
Here's some b-boy footage from the evening courtesy of MISSING STEWART...

Here's to more jams like this in 2015. Happy new year to all the real hip hoppers out there.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Vinyl Veterans Radio Show

Aside from running dope party nights in Brighton town, supporting LORD FINESSE at the SLICE-OF-SPICE Christmas party, and putting together releases for the COLD ROCK STUFF label, the VINYL VETERANS crew now have their own radio show coming straight outta B-Town. You'll hear plenty of doubles action, plus live vinyl only mixes from ROB LIFE, MAC MCRAW, SKRATCHY MUFFIN and hopefully in the future a few KID DYNO exclusive sets. And to top things off OXYGEN resurrects his "Chemical Breakdowns" segment and drops some impossible-to-get rap bangers. Show number 2 is currently available online if you wanna join in the fun.

You can listen HERE.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Hip Hop Battlefield vs Daily Diggers Kick-Off Pt2

Well, it's been a long time since my fellow trooper DRASAR MONUMENTAL and I had our AIR FORCE 1 kick-off (see post HERE) and following a conversation we had this week we thought it was about time we set up another HIP HOP BATTLEFIELD vs DAILY DIGGERS (friendly) sneaker battle. DRASAR was keen for the kick-off and threw flix of some lively looking pairs over. It was on!
So, I've unplugged the ice machine and pulled a few pairs from the sneaker cupboard. Both DRASAR and myself are somewhat disillusioned with all the current sneaker hype we see in current times. It seems everyone and their grandmother is a sneaker connoisseur these day, and I've lost count of the amount of people I've met recently who tell me "yeah I collect trainers, I have 30 pairs of Huaraches". My answer (accompanied by a wink) is simple ...... "OK I'm really pleased for you .... when you get to three figures come see me and we can talk".

Ok, let's do this like Brutus.... and don't forget to head over to HIP HOP BATTLEFIELD to see what DRASAR pulls from his boxes. We agreed on 5 pairs I believe but I've pulled out a extra wild card pair of NIKE DELTA FORCE HIGHs just for good measure.

NIKE AIR FORCE ONE MIDS army green with black swoosh and black midsole
ADIDAS TOP TEN HIGH red with white stripes
NIKE DUNK HIGH premium curry leather with off-white laces
FILA FX-100 HIGH white leather with orange sole and ankle strap
ADIDAS JABBAR HIGH white with blue stripes
NIKE DELTA FORCE HIGH baroque brown leather harvest suede and blue swoosh
I would like to add that no sneakers were harmed during this post, HOWEVER whilst rummaging through a multitude of sneaker boxes I came across a pair of deadstock PUMA CALIFORNIA in Forest Green and Cream which have begun to perish due to age and storage conditions. I say perish, but I think "melt" is a more accurate term to describe the consistency of the sole on them. The moral of the story - there's no satisfaction of having sneakers hidden away in boxes, get 'em on your feet and rock them while they're still intact and looking fresh. To coin an old term (and one I which use often) ... they don't make them like they used to.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Spotlight on Dan Duce

Recently EGO TRIP and COMPLEX both featured the amazing work of illustrator DAN LISH, or DAN "DUCE" as he is known to the Hip Hop community. His recent portraits of various hip hop pioneers/producers/emcees have been globally acknowledged as the work of a gifted illustrator with a talent for concept art. In fact the likeness of his work is so uncanny that I do not even have to list the names of the subjects as they're all instantly recognisable. However DAN is no new jack in the city, an has been demonstrating his artistic skills within the hip hop scene for years. It was DUCE who designed the BREAK DJ LEACY "Breaksploitation" LP covers which Q-BERT recently showed off in his Crate Diggers interview, as well as the many LEACYBROTHERS mixtape covers. And we haven't even mentioned his "Block Party" illustration which has been one of the most "stolen" hip hop images of late on social media. His daytime job sees him designing digital characters for a computer game manufacturer and he has worked on top titles such as DJ HERO. I could go on for days listing this man's contributions, but let's find out a little more about the man himself.

DAN DUCE is no stranger to the hip hop community, and has been an avid follower of the culture for over 25 years. He has also worked and lived in NYC where he was able indulge his passion for hip hop with even more vigour than in his native UK. I first met him back in 1994/5 during a coach trip from the UK to Germany for the Battle of the Year event in Hannover (if my memory serves me correctly). He was a mutual good friend of DJ LEACY, and was sporting a black v-stitch leather goose jacket on the journey which made him alright with me on first impressions. (In fact DUCE was with LEACY the time they found the now infamous stash of deadstock Goose jackets in the Bronx in the late 90s - see photo below). This dude could DJ, write graffiti and get down on the floor - he seemed to have all bases covered. So what else can we find out about the man behind the pen? I caught up with DUCE himself and delved a bit deeper into what makes him tick...

Firstly, who you be and what you do?

DUCE: I'm a Human being from planet earth named Daniel Lish, better know as Dan Lish, also Dan Duce or just Duce.

I'm very grateful to be able to support my family through my Artwork. For a regular occupation I am a Senior Concept Artist for the Video Game industry, and have been so for the past 14 years. Games I've worked on have been GTA 3, The Warriors and DJ Hero to name a few. I love to design characters and environments but rarely play Video Games.
I also Freelance as an illustrator and am in the middle of Book 2 of my Graphic Novel 'Cartigan' published in France. I also occasionally design Vinyl Toys for Unboxed industries and generally enjoy working with other creative folks.

KID DYNO: You've been down from very early on, please elaborate on how you discovered Hip Hop and your journey since then. (e.g. your move to the States etc.)

Well this is a very stripped down version; So my Father is from Brooklyn NYC, so I have dual nationality. Being brought up in deepest, darkest Suffolk, my Dad used to take me to the American airbases, where I'd see random Hip Hop/funk things happen.
I was too young to really put the puzzle together, just intrigued. This was about 1981/82. By 1983 I started to see snippets on the TV, i.e. Old Grey whistle test, Top of the pops etc. One of my best friends had cousins from London who'd come down, who inspired me with their tapes of Pirate Radio shows and Mike Allen etc. I started Dancing first, as a B-Boy. A huge influence was the Arena special with Gary Byrd, also Style Wars and Wild Style. There was next to no Hip Hop around for me in those days, so anything I could get my hands on was precious.
So as I grew older, earned some money (Newspaper rounds, Butcher boy etc) I could start to pic up Tapes and Vinyl. I would spend all my summer holidays practising windmills, turtles and head-spins, writing my toy tags and hanging with my boys. I was 15 when I went to UK Fresh 86, which made a huge impact on me. I started seriously writing (graff) in 1986 to 87. Pretty late really, as I was still at home with a strict step mum.

I left home at 17 to go to college, and with that came more exposure, meeting like minded folks (still very few and far between). My vinyl collection steadily grew, which progressed onto Hip Hop Pirate radio for about 6 to 7 years, then based in the south coast. I became great friends with Adam from the legendary BBOY crew STN (second to none) and practiced with Adam 3 times a week for a couple of years. Then I met Aidan and Jim Leacy at Battle of the year in Germany in 95. We became best mates from then until he passed. Jim inspired me to dig deeper into my Break Beat obsession and also introduced me to the Miami B-Boy Pro Am jams of 98 and 99.

Before I left Portsmouth, I started a night called the 'Go-Off' (1997), Portsmouth's first total Hip Hop night, embracing all the elements. I then finally moved to New York in 1999. That's where I dug deeper into the cultural aspect of Hip Hop. I got deeper into the dance, focusing on B-Boying and Brooklyn Rocking, as well as DJ'ing in clubs, Park Jams and Battles. My Wife and I where put down in Brooklyn's Dynasty Rockers by RC, better known as King Uprock. I became great friends with the Late Buddy ESQ, having met him whilst selling my artwork at NYC's comic convention.

I was still writing (with James TOP/CIA. Duro, OUI etc) and hanging with a lot of old timer writers, the first generation like Stay High and Roger. I was still deep into the DJ'ing and the Dancing aspects, but due to knee injuries I ended up in permanent semi retirement. Myself and King Uprock hosted a monthly event called the Dollar Jam, where folks would come from all over NYC, even upstate and Philly. Special K, Cosmo D, Rock steady Crew, Bambaataa, Ken Swift and Bobbito would regularly come to the jam. Also original Latino Biker gangs (who rocked) like the Devil's Rebels and many O.G. Rockers and B-Boys would regularly support. Our Jam would have B-Boy, Rocking and Popping battles. You'd have 3 generation of folks there, ageing between 8 to 50 yrs old. Great times. I would go up to the Bronx every week to hang with Buddy or I'd be DJ'ing at a B-Boy Battle, as well as doing my artwork, so I was kept pretty busy.
I don't really put my photos up online, but you can view a snippet of my NYC flics here;

KID DYNO: When did you first realise you had artistic flair? How does this flair collide with the hip hop world?

DUCE: I was always drawing and painting from as far back as I can remember. It helped to have encouraging parents who gave me pens, paints and paper.
Once I caught the Hip Hop bug, it was a natural progression to get into Graffiti Art and Comic books. I always loved to experiment in different mediums too, including Ink and wash (watercolour), Acrylics and oils. I've always had an affinity with the black line of an ink pen, and sketched almost everyday.

I also became known for adding Hip Hop styled B-Boy animal characters into my artwork, especially for Jim Leacy aka Break DJ Leacy's projects. The Battle Royal, The UK B-Boy champs and my own personal Hip Hop art would feature animals. I guess at the time, I was working for as an Artist for a Pet Book company, drawing and painting animals all day. From about 1987 to 2006 my Graffiti and illustration styles would morph in and out of each other. Only over the last couple of years am I starting to find, not my true voice, but a more honest and personal approach to what I create. In the past I often felt I had to 'represent' instead of creating something which was more honest to me, instead of subconsciously pleasing others.

KID DYNO: I understand you sketch a lot whilst commuting - what motivates you to draw and does it come easy to you (as it seems from the hip hop illustrations)

DUCE: I've been commuting on and off for the past four years, and in that time sitting on the train I draw in my sketch books. Being the Father of two young daughters, this is a time my mind can wonder and creative things happen. I work directly in ink pen to paper. The main challenge comes from the wobbly train journey, often packed with stressed out commuters. It's a stream of consciousness with most of my illustrations, where there's none to very little planning for each piece.

KID DYNO: The response to your illustrations of Pete Rock, Premo, Rakim, Bam etc.. has been far reaching (please elaborate). What are your plans with this series?

DUCE: I have to back up a little to explain. Over ten years ago, I created the LP cover for the late Break DJ Leacy, entitled 'Breaksplotation'. The illustration featured a snap shot/fly on the wall view of a late 70's, early 80's New York City park jam. So after receiving appreciation and praise from many Hip Hop legends (thanks to Christie Z Pabon from Tools of War), including Biz Markie, Rakim, Pete Rock, X-Clan and Grand Wizard Theodore to name a few, I embarked on a 'thank you' illustration back to these individuals. I started with Paradise Gray (X-Clan), Rakim and then Pete Rock. I created a portrait of the artist/individual in an honest un-egotistic interpretation, shedding the B-Boy bravado. This is why this ongoing series is titled 'Ego Strip', a shedding of the ego, catching these folks in a moment of thought.

Where can we find out more about Dan Duce?

DUCE: For my artwork;

BTW: Shameless art promotion... The Block Party archival prints and Litho-prints are now available to buy as well as J-Dilla, KRS1, DOOM and Bambaataa.
All info is available on my website, Twitter feed and Tumblr, and you can check out and order the prints for sale right HERE.

KID DYNO: What does Hip Hop mean to you right now? And do you still get the same buzz out of it as years gone by.

DUCE: I have changed over the past 5/6 years, as any human being should. You grow, you (hopefully) get wiser. So my priorities, focus and consciousness has also changed.
I still get a 'buzz' from many aspects of the Hip Hop culture, and still like being involved, but not from a battle perspective. Too much drama for me. I like to focus on creativity, nurture and Community. I still love to dance, I still love to DJ, but these happen now and then because my perception and consciousness have changed in my life. My main focus is on my immediate family and being able to Create Artwork for my personal growth and to support my Family.
So my perspective and priorities are different from the Dan Lish of 25 years old. I have to change... it's Natural Law. A good analogy is 'the Onion'. Like us all, we have many layers to our Onion....Actually I'll stop there, I'm getting too cosmic.

: Please name 3 of your favourite Hip Hop experiences?

DUCE: When I first DJ'd in the Bronx (with DJ Rockin Rob/Chuck City)
My First Park Jam in the Bronx (Disco King Mario at Rose-dale Park)
When I first watched Style Wars.

Sorry but I cant stop at 3...
When Bambattaa DJ'd for free at our Dollar Jam,
Painting with Duro.
Practicing with Ken Swift.
Hanging out at the Devils Rebels club house in Bushwick and rocking in their Apache line. Very intense.
Hanging out at the Bronx River houses with Buddy.

For shits and giggles, I'll also name my worst (but still cool) Hip Hop experiences.You'll see a running theme here....
My first B-Boy battle in Manhattan - I was so nervous I almost froze solid.
When I was asked to dance in Rikers Island for the prisons inmates. I almost shit myself.
Getting badly burnt in a Rocking battle in Harlem. Nako slid through my legs, making everyone piss themselves laughing....

KID DYNO: Dan Duce also rocks the 1s and 2s - please gimme 3 b-boy sureshots you're feeling right now?

DUCE: All the beats on Aidan Orange's latest mix tapes.
No Names will be called - Road Runners, Impuls - Didier's Sound Spectrum

On heavy rotation at the moment is Porter chops Glasper - Mr Porter

DUCE: Props and shout-outs to my Wife Karyn and daughters Ellsa and Abigail, Aiden Orange, Graham, Fast Break, Foots, Cold Chris, Numbers, Eke, Mr.ip, Dan Willett, IBZ, Ziggy Ramone/OUI, James Top, Biz Markie, DJ Just 1, PJ Born Kings, Ewan at Rarekind, Dexter, Lord Bongson, Waxer, DJ Skam Rock, Mark Madina, Dan Flan, Dan the Beatman, Mr. Fingers, King Uprock, Kwon, DJ DP One, DJ Rockin Rob, Break EZ & B.I.S, Rob Life, Macca and the Vinyl veterans crew, DJ Format, Dynasty Rockers, Bret Downroc Syfert, Ready to Rock, STN and UZN.