Sunday, 29 June 2008

Friday, 27 June 2008

Punching Pads

We've discussed tons of break records on here recently, so for a change lets take it back to the BEATS. Of course those records that we love so much also provide the inspiration and ingredients for some thrifty beatmaking! With years of experience a beat digger can develop an ear for a funky loop or a dope measure that just screams out "use me!" who are we to refuse?
So I asked the rest of my crew to put their producer hats on, and bring a lil sumthin' sumthin' type beat to this week's Record Club. And they did not disappoint me. Both ROB FAMILIAR and DJH brought some heavy shit to the table - so I thought it was only fair to rock a little LIVE beat on the spontaneous tip just using the records at hand on that club night, and punching it all in ad-hoc. OK so there were a few timing issues with my recording but hey I'm no metronome!!

Thanks to DJH for passing me a killer Library LP for the theme of the music...add some banging drums....and hey presto today we have not 1, not 2, but 3 dope beats to serve you readers and listeners!


I don't know how ROB has got the SKULLSNAPS drums sounding so crispy here, but I like it a lot. This beat is typical of ROB's smooth production techniques - and to great effect he milks the groove and then hits you with a variation towards the end of the track (I love the mesmerizing breakdown). Very subtle yet beautiful work.


DJH always amazes me how he can flip such different styles without veering off course. Here he takes on a 1992 mentality and this beat so reminds me of a Showbiz or Freestyle Professor's beat. And I mean that as a compliment of course. DJH is a complete equipment-freak so he knows how to get his sound right.


I gotta say I prefer the other 2 beats to my own, but this only inspires me to do better. Those that know me will tell you that I like to rock a beat RAW and off the top of the dome - rather like an MC would spit a freestyle. I leave those heavy production techniques to the REAL engineers.

Props to DJH and ROB.....thanks guys! Hold tight for next week's beats from SKYE and THE BEAT DETECTIVE.

Kid Dyno

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Break to the Beat

Here's an old mixtape by yours truly from maybe 8 or 9 years ago. I found an old cassette with this on, so thought I would rip it and share with y'all. It's an hour of break action together with the hip hop track that used it. Sound quality ain't great in some parts but I hope you will enjoy it!
I wonder what else is lurking in that box of old tapes??

Kid Dyno


Saturday, 21 June 2008

Hip Hop Reborn

Nas may have told us recently that "Hip Hop is Dead", and this wouldn't be the first time in its life the rap game has gone through an identity crisis. And it won't be the last for sure.
Over the 30 years of Hip Hop on wax, there have always been times when trends have been followed, and the music has taken a new turn. Sometimes its listeners were all for the change, sometimes not. But Hip Hop is always evolving and just when you think the music becomes played out and has reached it's lowest ebb, a phoenix will rise from the flames.
Rap started out on wax influenced mostly by Disco, quickly followed by electro beats, the ROLAND 808/909 era, and phases such as the stupid fresh days, james brown samples, afrocentric rhymes, jazzy beats, blunted beats, the indie years, backpack raps, etc. the list goes on. In fact you could say Hip Hop is an innovator of many styles, often leaving behind its musical legacy, and taking on a new form no longer understood by the masses. By doing this it becomes revived and fresh once more!
Unfortunately at the moment the industry beats and rhymes are as far from true Hip Hop as they could be....but never say die! Hip Hop will be reborn. Just as before.

Here's an appropriate joint to help us keep the faith!

HAKEEM X - "Hip Hop Reborn" (1990 Freetown)
Hakeem X was born J.A. Benton in NYC in 1971, and at an early age has a successful modelling career as well as appearing in two TV adverts with legendary comedian Bill Cosby. At age 10 he wrote his first rhymes, and by the age of 14 producing demos with Dr Freeze and DJ Ross.
"Hip Hop Reborn" was mixed by Rod Hui and Eric "Vietnam" Sadler of Public Enemy fame.

Kid Dyno

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Nike Air Force Safari

Yeah I know this page is aimed at record heads and beat diggers...but we here at the DAILY DIGGERS HQ also have one other vice that cripples our financial stability - buying box fresh kicks!! So for a change we thought we would share with you a pair of the dopest kicks that got us drooling right now, and a pair that have a vintage Hip Hop connection . Namely the newly released NIKE AIR FORCE 1 SAFARI. These are a "must cop" shoe....I'm sure you know what I mean. These dope new AF1s are based on the original NIKE SAFARI from the late 80's which appeared in a funky orange, black and brown cement colourway.
Any Hip Hopper who knows his BDP from his EPMD, and his COOL C from his COOL V will tell you that the Diabolical BIZ MARKIE first brought NIKE SAFARI's to our attention back in '88, when he sported a fresh pair on the back of his classic "Goin' Off" LP (see photos above right and below) together with a brown velour NIKE tracksuit. I remember I NEEDED those shoes. Although I have to add it's a shame about COOL V's Le Coq Sportifs on the same cover!!

Now back then in the eighties it was nearly impossible to find these sneakers either in the US or UK, and I remember many sports shops telling me that there was "no such trainer made by NIKE" AGGGH!!! the SAFARI became a holy grail for sneaker pimps. Luckily for us they we re-issued a few years back by the wonderful people in Beaverton and we grabbed a few pairs as soon as they hit the shelves, as I'm sure did many other collectors.
Now NIKE have blessed us with the AF1 SAFARI special edition - and although I normally couldn't give a damn about the so-called Limited Edition AF1s that NIKE drench the market with over the last few years (most of them have been, well, to put it bluntly f#cking awful). But these SAFARIs look fresh in the box, fresh out the box, and even fresher on ya feet & on the street. And without a ridiculous £100 ($200) price tag too. My only slight gripe is that the brown cement has changed to more of a greyish colour. Oh well.
Now my only dilemma is whether to rock 'em or put these babies on ice? Mmmm...

Kid Dyno

Friday, 13 June 2008

Breaks for Days podcast

It's about that time for another BREAKS FOR DAYS podcast, and tonight we have just over an hour of beats to start your weekend off with pep! The BEAT DETECTIVE and myself are firstly gonna drop some early 90's Hip Hop action - some joints you may know and some you may not. But 100% funky shiznit all the way including SHOWBIZ & AG, HEAVY D, ERIC B & RAKIM, TO DA CORE, JUSTICE SYSTEM, INTELLIGENT HOODLUM and more.
And then in the second half hour a few crispy reckuds from the depths of the archives including LABI SIFFRE, RARE EARTH, KID DYNAMITE, RUFUS THOMAS, THE NEW APOCALYPSE and some more obscure breaks. This is open crate surgery YO!

click here for download>>> BREAKS FOR DAYS RADIO

Track list:
SHOW & AG - Giant In The Mental
ERIC B & RAKIM - Save The Children
HEAVY D & THE BOYS - You Can't See What I Can See
JUSTICE SYSTEM - Dedication to Bambaataa (DIAMOND D mix)
MOE CRAZY ft TONY TONE & CHI ALI - Knock 'Em Out Da Frame
JOMANDA instrumental
KMD - A Constipated Monkey INSTRUMENTAL
TO DA CORE - We Got It Goin' On
MC CLASS - Hope You're Listening
KOOL & THE GANG - Summer Madness
GALT MACDERMOT - Rhinoceros Theme Version A
THE SONS - You Can Fly
RARE EARTH - I Couldn't Believe What Happened Last Night
J. SCOTT - Drama Heights
RUFUS THOMAS - Itch & Scratch
KID DYNAMITE - Uphill Peace Of Mind
S. CROMBIE - The Build Up

Peace... Kid Dyno

Sunday, 8 June 2008


Despite being one of the most heavily sampled records in hip hop, the track "Nautilus" by BOB JAMES is a monster of a tune which I never tire of hearing, even today. The track was originally released in 1974 on his "ONE" LP on Creed Taylor Inc Records, but hey I guess you already have a copy of it in your racks, as do most of the crate-diggers I know. By no means is this a rare or hard to find record - but you would be hard pushed to buy a break quite as influential in hip hop and as beautiful to listen to.
BOB JAMES was born in 1939 in Marshall, Missouri - a small farm town with little or no musical activity. His mother, though not musically inclined herself, insisted on her son receiving musical tuition claiming she could see an early talent in him. He started playing piano at 4 years old, and once said he knew early on that he would become a musician, although he did not develop his love for Jazz until the end of High School. He attended University of Michigan where he received a Masters Degree in Musical Composition. During these years he also formed a trio whose first appearance at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in 1962 caught the eye of a certain Quincy Jones.
In 1974 on creating "NAUTILUS", JAMES said "Titles usually come to me after the piece is written. We were working on a theme, using again the layer process whereby several tracks are superimposed on the basic rhythm track. I started using a particular stop on the Yamaha organ which sounded very good., like some underwater effect. Creed (Taylor) thought it might suggest a cavern, with stalactites etc., but I felt it was more like a submarine journey." Hence the title "NAUTILUS".

NAUTILUS, at a shade over 5 minutes long, definitely takes you (the listener) on a trip through JAMES' musical imagination. Beginning with some mystical vibes, then building the mood with melodic and even melancholic keys blending with the subtle yet shuffling drums (courtesy of Idris Muhammed). Occasionally driving strings punctuate the groove and make way for hints of alto flute - oh it's so beautiful! And we haven't even got to the break part yet!

Here is a soundclip of NAUTILUS by BOB JAMES (CTI 1974)

...and below are just a few of the Hip Hop records that used a NAUTILUS sample to great effect. There's plenty more out there, these are just the a few of the dope ones...
My Mic Is on Fire by Lord Shafiq (1987)
Beats to the Rhyme by Run-D.M.C. (1988)
Snitches by Geto Boys (1988)
Follow the Leader by Eric B. & Rakim (1988)
Ced-Gee (Delta Force one) (Remix) by Ultramagnetic MC's (1988)
Children's Story by Slick Rick (1988)
Jazzy's Groove by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (1989)
Doper Than Dope by Salt 'n' Pepa (1989)
Everybody Knows Me by K-Solo (1990)
Voyage Through the Multiverse by Dream Warriors (1990)
Brothers on My Jock by EPMD (1990)
You Can't Swing This by Lyrical Prophecy (1990)
Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em by Eric B. & Rakim (1990)
Anti-Nigger Machine by Public Enemy (1990)
Groove to the Sound by Run-D.M.C. (1990)
Show Me A Hero by Leaders of the New School (1991)
Live at the Barbecue by Main Source (1991)
Low Down Nigga by Tim Dog (1991)
I'll Wax Anybody by Tim Dog (1991)
Bronx Nigga by Tim Dog (1991)
Moe Love on the One & Two by Ultramagnetic MC's (1992)
Raise It Up by Ultramagnetic MC's (1993)
Black Vagina Finda by Onyx (1993)
Throw ya Gunz by Onyx (1993)
Bust One Fa Me by Threat (1993)
Book of Rhyme Pages by Jungle Brothers (1993)
What's Next on the Menu? by Pete Rock & CL Smooth (1993)
Clap Your Hands by A Tribe Called Quest (1993)
The Rhyme by Keith Murray (1994)
No Delayin' by Nice & Smooth (1994)
My Mind Spray by Jeru the Damaja (1994)
Stray Bullet by Organized Konfusion (1994)
Sun Won't Come Out by Pete Rock & CL Smooth (1994)
Take You There by Pete Rock & CL Smooth (1994)
Inna Citi Life by Group Home (1995)
Paper Chase by Poison Clan (1995)
Daaam! by Tha Alkaholiks (1995)
The Rap World by Large Professor (1996)
Black Nostaljack by Camp Lo (1997)
$cene by Mike Zoot (1998)
Correct Technique by Basement Khemist (1998)
Double Trouble by The Roots (1999)
Torture Chamber by Tame One (1999)
Daytona 500 by Ghostface Killah

phew! and then some. Let's look in-depth at some of the less obvious records also using Nautilus....

FOUNDATION*7 - "Compredator" (Ruff Kutt 1992)
"WARNING!" In this instance, the name of the label says it all - this track IS a rough cut! It took me ages to get hold of a nice condition copy for a sensible price, but this I think is the one of the best uses of Nautilus samples to date. Here F*7 flip up a different loop to that normally used by Hip Hop artists, and later in the track it changes to a different portion of Bob James's classic. Many people compare the MC's mic style here with the legendary GOD Rakim...and I'm sure you will see why. And if you love Rakim, then I reckon you will dig this track too as it uses a few RAKIM hooks here and there. DOPE SHEEEET from 1992!

KING SUN - "Big Shots" (Profile 1991)
KING SUN was one of the most constantly under-rated MC's if you ask me, and has dropped some quality releases on various labels over the years. From "Sippin' Brandy" to "Hum Deez Nuts" he has laced us with some classics.
Here is a KING SHAMEEK produced track using NAUTILUS, but in this instance I prefer the BIG SHOTS REMIX on the flipside which uses another BOB JAMES sample, namely "Take Me to The Mardi Gras" from his "TWO" LP on CTI. But the album version neatly incorporates Nautilus whilst SUN preaches about an ex-con released after a 10-year stretch, and his efforts to make it back into a big shot living the high life. This track is featured on his "Righteous but Ruthless" LP.

POOR RIGHTEOUS TEACHERS - "Word is Bond" (Profile 1990)
Another dope record on the PROFILE label, this time produced by Tony D and North Side Productions. PRT are Wise Intelligence, Culture Freedom, and Father Shahee and are highly rated by Hip Hop fans as a crew to check. All of there albums have some dope material and let's face it they had a style of their very own! So it wouldn't be right if the trio didn't rock this funky Nautilus joint! And what a cracker it is, featuring on the b-side of "Time to Say Peace" remix 12" but sadly with no instrumental version. Could this be one of the best Hip Hop tracks to use Bob James' classic break??

JUSS BAD - "Freestyle" (Tuff Groove 1987)
This UK released stormer of a twelve ranks highly amongst collectors, and for very good reasons. Firstly it's our first chance to hear sister Monie Love and Mc Mellow (before he dropped the w) on the mic, and is produced by DJ Pogo and Sparkie. It also has the dopest cover art by JUMP2. An early release as far as UK Hip Hop vinyl is concerned, and rightly so coming from some of the UK's pioneers. This record is rarely found and highly is the label's other 12" release FRESH-SKI & MO-ROCK "Talkin' Pays" (does anyone have a spare copy pleeease??).
"Freestyle" exhibits superb use of a NAUTILUS sample which sounds great when coupled with the WILSON PICKETT "Engine Number 9" stab and beat. Hunt one down if you don't own it already!

ULTRA MAGNETIC MCs - "Bait" (Let's Go 1987)
Does this record really need any introduction? A hard-to-find early track by the legendary ULTRA MAGNETIC MCs originally only available on the RED ALERT GOES BERSERK LP, and recorded as an exclusive track for the original propmaster RED's radio show on KISS. Later the track was picked up on in Japan and released as a very limited seven inch single with additional verse for the hardcore collectors.
I remember first hearing ULTRAS on radio (John Peel or maybe Janice Long on RADIO 1) back in the day and thinking to myself "what IS this futuristic shit?" - so unique and advanced was their sound. I couldn't fathom or figure out how they got that sound! Their first release on DNA records entitled "To Give You Love" b/w "Make You Shake" was no classic by anyone's standards...but by the time they recorded "Bait" and "Funky" in 1987, their vocal and production skills were above par and they were ready for world domination (well almost!). Ask any hip hopper from back then who was the dopest crew in the late 80's, and nine times out of ten their answer will be Kool Keith, Ced Gee, Moe Love and TR Love namely ULTRAS!
Here are the crew "controlled by Gamma light" using NAUTILUS samples and some bugged out drum action (CED GEE) with some classic RED ALERT "yeeeeeeaaahhh" soundbites. Introduced by the REDHEAD ONE himself.

...more Nautilus-using joints coming soon.....

Post inspired by a conversation with my buddy KWOTE ONE down unda in OZ! What's up to you K!

Kid Dyno

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The Rill Thing

It's suprisingly easy for a beat digger to find breaks or samples when collecting records, mainly because there have been so many hip hop artists using different samples as the backbone of the music in their records. Don't get me wrong I ain't saying this diggin' shit is easy, cuz it certainly ain't......and the record knowledge needed can take years to amass (hell I'm still learning after 20yrs!). And some of the dopest breaks I accept are rare as hen's teeth and we ain't never gonna find those even with all the record spots available; but I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are so many records out there that have been pillaged, the chances of finding something sampled is quite high. But sometimes an unexpected gem can turn up in the most unusual places. As I have mentioned before, every music genre can turn up some classic samples from the past, and even the most surprising of artists...e.g. ELVIS, BRYAN FERRY, LEVEL 42, KENNY ROGERS, ZZ TOP, SERGE GAINSBOURG have all at some time provided the samples or breaks for both DJs and Hip Hop artists.

Although even I wasn't ready for this next record. I had checked out many LPs from the same artist with fruitless results. But then a little investigation lead to a nice find for a tenner (£10) on a recent mission - LITTLE RICHARD's The Rill Thing LP.

There are certain breaks that need very little other than looping up, add a couple of dope MCs with some on-the-point lyrics, and hey presto you have a great hip hop track. But to make a classic hip hop track you need something a little special.....or maybe take a killer beat and someone really special. So say if we take LORD FINESSE and BIG L for example. Let them drop their sh!t over a looped up and seriously funky LITTLE RICHARD beat (track is also entitled THE RILL THING) and you have "YES YOU MAY REMIX" which features on the flip of PARTY OVER HERE 12". This track may be simple but is so effective at showing how much mic skills these dudes have. The track still holds its own today as do the 2 MCs rhymes. And rest in peace to BIG L, self-promoting braggadocious rap ain't the same without ya!

Here's a clip of THE RILL THING and YES YOU MAY remix...

[ Lord Finesse ]
Yeah, now check this out.
Now what we have here is the "Yes You May" remix, right?
But Percee P and my man A.G. ain't here,
and I got my man Big L in the house, you know what I'm saying?
And we swinging shit for '92

[ Big L ]
Ah check it out, yo
Ayo everywhere that I go, brothers know my f!cking name
I'm flooring ni##as and I only weigh a buck and change
I gave a lot of black eyes in my extorting days
F!cking with me, a lotta ni##as was sporting shades
I grab the microphone and scar jerks
N#gg#s running up (Put me on!) What the f!ck, is this star search?
I'm relieving rappers like Sudafed
And if the microphone was smoke then Big L would be a buddha head
Ayo my crew's real smooth like Lopez
I was rocking mics since ni##as was wearing Pro Keds
I only roll with originators
Chicks stick to my dick like magnets on refridgerators
I'm a crazy mean lyricist
Many are in fear of this, yeah, so they stand clear of this
And those that refuse the order, Big L bruise and slaughter
Ni##as hear me and take notes like a news reporter
I'll bend a rapper like a fender, I'm slender, but far from tender
Killing ni##as like a Klan member
You can't touch this, your rhyme's to darn weak, front
And I'm a introduce your brains to the concrete
I keep hoes satisfied, I'm pushing the fattest ride
To take me out, troop, even the baddest try
But they fell cause my techniques are liver
I'm so deaf I need a hearing aid with an equalizer
You tried to hit a home run but you struck out
My rhymes were released, I'd like to say peace the f!ck out

[ Lord Finesse ]
Check it out, it's the brother you have to
hear, stand up, clap, and cheer
As far as running mine, ain't nothing happening here!
Cause I'm on some ruthless shit
It ain't over til the fat lady sing? I'm a shoot the bitch
I'm swift with this, it's ridiculous to get with this
When I kick some shit, I'm a cold flip the script
It's all systems go when I start ripping shows
I swing and do my thing and I'm coming home with different hoes
I got game like Genesis
When I finish this I can bag any hoe on the premises
I spin into action like a whirlpool
Get wilder than a rapist in a Catholic all-girls school
Cause I'm scoring mine, never kicking boring rhymes
I'm living larger than my dick in the morning time
I get paid and laid on a good night
Me take a loss? That shit don't even look right
Brothers couldn't win against me with their hardest tactics
I hang 'em and use their ass for target practice
If you think you can troop, go recruit your team or group
We can battle for some loot, shit
I take you, and plus the rest of your squad
Bust your ass and make you all get messenger jobs
So write that shit in your column
Any rapper who wanna beef, motherf!cker got problems
I'm out to make changes
It's the Funky Man, you know what my motherf!cking name is!!

Kid Dyno

Sunday, 1 June 2008

...more Disco Breaks

Here's a few more essential disco biscuits guaranteed to fill any dancefloor and make every b-boy and b-girl in town wanna get down.

ATMOSFEAR - "Outer Space" (ELITE dist. through MCA '79)
This is actually the b-side cut from "Dancing In Outer Space" (which entered the UK top 50 in 1979) and features on the flipside of the twelve inch release. Perfect for b-boys as the drums are more in-your-face and the breakdown part is absolutely insane! The build up is so clever that when it reaches the peak it makes every ageing b-boy wanna throwdown on the linoleum.
ATMOSFEAR were a UK group based in London, founding members include Jerry Pike (Percussion & Sound Effects), Lester J. Bachelor (bass), Tony Antoniou (lead vocalist / rhythm guitar), Raymond Johnson (drums). Pike was also the manager of the ALL EARS Record shop in Harlesden, so the group could also practise at the back of the shop. He brought in his friend, Lester Batchelor, who played bass. The group released this, their debut single, on MCA in 1979 - the bassline was particularly notable on the tune and was played by Bachelor on a Gibson RD Artist bass that he bought from Gibson whilst working for the company. The bass had a built in moog synthesiser and only 10 of them were made, and Bachelor later had his stolen. 'Dancing In Outer Space' sold 100,000 copies and is frequently sampled. Atmosfear continued to record throughout the 80's but never revisited the pop chart.
Thanks to DJ Leacy and Aidan Orange for first schooling me on this joint!

D.C. LARUE - "Indiscreet" 12" mix (PYRAMID '77)
A great classic break as featured on Breakbeat Lenny's Ultimate Breaks & Beats LP series, but the 12" Disco version gives us a little something extra - an edited and extended break section compared to the version that appears on the "The Tea Dance" album. How fantastic that way back in 1977 before sampling technology was available they thought to extend the favourite break section, even adding a "JAZZY JAY" type stab at the end of every couple of bars, giving the impression of a DJ doubling up the music! It is hard to tell whether this was re-recorded, or whether some heavy tape-splicing was going on but the effect is great - have a listen, it is incredible shit no doubt. This makes this twelve a must buy if you can track one down. But it is not easy to find by anyone standards...but I'm sure the eagle-eyed diggers amongst you will have your sources LOL! Props to my brother from another mother SKYE for helping me out with a copy.

Now this record demonstrates the "dark grooves in the vinyl could be a break" theory to the fullest. Any serious beat digger knows that on some records, a lighter or darker section within the groove of a track can indicate a possible break part. Now this theory is not 100% accurate...but on this little beauty the theory comes up trumps. At a length of over nine minutes, this disco anthem has the opportunity to breakdown 3 separate times, and the grooves on the wax show this clearly in the photo below. For me the second breakdown is the best with its dual-tone wood blocks punctuating the rigid yet funky disco beat. OK so the lyrics are a little repetitive, but nevertheless this is a bad-ass disco 12". I'm not aware if this record has been sampled by any Hip Hop artists (please tell me if you know any) but if you listen carefully on checking out your old school tapes, no doubt you will recognise this beat being dropped here and there by the pioneers.

Kid Dyno