In these times when many record stores are closing down and disappearing from our high streets, the seasoned beat digger has to evolve his game and sniff out those dusty vinyls from whatever source he can. And a part of the beat diggin culture has always been to find those gems for a fraction of their true value. Obviously the cheaper the wax is, the more records you can afford to buy, hence the better chance of finding a drum break or dope sample. It's simple maths.
So if you are seriously into your breaks, no doubt you will trawl through the charity spots, flea markets and boot sales in search of a dusty crate or two. You gotta admit, finding the unexpected is so much more fun. And often the cost of these records are a million miles away from the ludicrous prices you see on eBay and at record fairs.
Add to this the current "credit crunch" situation, and money is real tight ... and if you are addicted to records like we are, then the charity spots and "booties" are the only place to be for cheap vinyl. As superdope producer-on-the-mic DIAMOND D told us on his joint "Feel The Vibe"....
"You gotta get your fingers dusty (word)
And keep your ear to the street so you won't get rusty
Concentrate on the funk vibe (Funk vibe)
Learn your roots put on your Timberland boots
I'm true to my art, I never fake a move
I keep your head bobbing to the psychotic groove
The vibe is erotic, contagious, sporadic
I love beats so much I'm damn near neurotic"
Now my buddy the BEAT DETECTIVE is king of the game when it comes to bargain beats, so he's now gonna let you into a few of the recent finds from his (secret) charity shops and (even more secret) boot sale locations.
KID DYNO: BD what's up my mellow, it's about time you dropped a little beat knowledge here on BREAKS FOR DAYS. It's not like I been asking you for months LOL!
BEAT DETECTIVE: Dinco, you know me - I prefer to speak with my hands! Seriously though, the blog is looking good KID, and I need to drop some knowledge on the beatheads out there. Money is tight right now, so let's give the folks a few tips on how to pick up cheap beats without breaking the bank (excuse the pun). Some of my dopest breaks have been the cheapest!
KID DYNO: Yep I been looking forward to this for a while 'cuz you never cease to amaze me what incredible records you find whilst out in the middle of a muddy farmer's field at 7am on a Sunday morning while I'm still catching zzzz's. I have known you now for over 15 years but I gotta admit I don't know how you do it bro! So please school me, and the BREAKS FOR DAYS readers.
BEAT DETECTIVE: There are two key pieces of advice I would give to anyone starting out diggin'. But before that you have to understand that anyone can throw thirty quid at a rare soul, rock or funk LP in a record shop or on the net. But the best way to amount a dope collection at minimum cost is to go searching high and low for record dens and charity shops, boot sales and church fairs, and anywhere you think you may find records cheap.
KID DYNO: You say this BD, but I hit the charity shops when I can and very rarely do I find anything of any interest.
BEAT DETECTIVE: Well you have brought me on to my first piece of advice there Dyno. The first rule is PERSISTENCE. You have to hit that shit on the regular, and just because your first 2 visits have been fruitless, doesn't mean you give up. I will illustrate this nicely later bro and embarrass the hell out of you about the time I found the *CENSORED* drum break LP in a charity shop right across the road from your own house! In your neck of the woods Dyno! Ha ha!
KID DYNO: Er....yes....um...point taken. The less said about that, the better!
BEAT DETECTIVE: One man's junk is another man's treasure. So all the records I see at boot sales and charity shops are stuff that people think is worthless, so most of these records are 25p, 50p or sometimes even less. When I stumble upon a nugget for pennies I then find I gotta keep my poker-face on so I don't let the seller know that what I have found is worth anything. But that's all part of the fun.
Also at these prices I can afford to buy records on speculation, and that's where most of my dopest finds come from. This is where the second rule comes in - you gotta do your HOMEWORK and learn your shit. I study records as well as listen to the them, reading the cover credits, the labels, and the artist notes. This way I can pick up producers to look for, or maybe a drummer that likes to break down his beats halfway through a track. Then when I'm out on a mission I keep an eye open for that drummer, or that label, or that particular instrument that sounds dope like FENDER RHODES. I like to go on a hunch too when maybe a track title sounds dope, or the dude on the cover looks funky. I'm sure you catch my drift. I don't just buy records that I know, and no genre is a no-go area for the BEAT DETECTIVE. Everything is fair game in my book DYNO!
KID DYNO: OK so now hit me with some bargain beats BD - don't hold back!
BEAT DETECTIVE: Aiiight KID, but some of these I know even you ain't got so don't be sniffing round my record bag!
BLOODSTONE - "Unreal" LP (1973) LONDON RECORDS
A great double hitter this one, originally I bought it for the fat drum break, and then later realised it also contained the track "Traffic Cop" which provided the main sample for STEADY B's "Let The Hustlers Play" in 1988 produced by LAWRENCE GOODMAN and CHUCK NICE (THREE TIMES DOPE). It's a relatively hard piece to pick up, but this copy turned up for a pound (£1.00) at a sunday morning boot sale in deepest Essex. Getting up early certainly isn't easy at weekends, but it's the thought of records like this that get me out with my diggin radar at the crack of dawn. I like to hit as many boot sales on a sunday morning as possible to spread my net, so an early start is essential.
Overall this is a great LP recorded at Chipping Norton Studios in Oxford UK, with DARRYL CLIFTON on drums providing the killer break.
I don't think KID DYNO has this one.
BLOODSTONE - Traffic Cop
BLOODSTONE drum break
STEADY B - "Let The Hustlers Play"
ROY WILLIAMS TRINITY - "Touch of Class" (197?) HILLSIDE RECORDS
Now this is a private press LP on HILLSIDE RECORDS from Ipswich in the UK, and as far as I know this band handed out their LP in the pubs and clubs that they performed in. Not only does this LP have the funkiest of covers, with all three members sporting flares and big hair, but they also sit proudly on the bonnets of their choice 70s motors. Check out that Jaguar! These dudes were living large.
Despite the dope cover, it's what's on the wax that counts after all, and this record does not disappoint on any level.
It harbours some huge kicks and snares, real loud and chunky - perfect for chopping up on your MPC or drum machine of choice. I gotta say props to STEVE SKYE and DJ OLSEN / DJ PRECISE for first schooling me on this record. It took me 5 years to find this copy, and that almost never happened!
The story goes like this - the location was a boot sale in Wickford, and I'm deep in some bloke's crates when I stumble upon an LP with the three prestige motors on the cover, but there is NO record in the sleeve. I asked the stallholder if he has the actual record. The seller replies that he may have it at home, but asked why I wanted that particular record? Not wanting to elevate the price on this one, I told him (stupidly) that my Dad knows one of the members of the band, so I wanted it for that reason rather than anything else. "Which one?" he says, and then reveals he still knows "Steve" from the band who is now a guitar teacher in Clacton-on-Sea. Ooops! Maybe I should have been more honest. :O) but anyway I take this bloke's phone number and arrange to meet up with him another week if he can find the record.
A few minutes later record karma kicks in and as I walk a few stalls further on, the dude runs up shouting "I've found it....£2 wasn't it mate?"
Check out the soundclip, keep listening as it breaks down later in the song .
ROY WILLAIMS TRINITY - "Don't Be Cruel"
DUM-DUM (1972) PHILIPS RECORDS
I found this Long Player in St. Luke's Hospice charity shop in Wickford, together with a HANGED MAN Soundtrack both for 25p each. They don't come much cheaper than this. I knew how good HANGED MAN was gonna be, but the DUM-DUM was a surprise find.
DUM-DUMS is an album co-ordinated by BOB JAMES, and that is the main reason I looked at this apart from the great cover picture. Arranged by JOHN FIDDY of library music fame and produced by PETER SHELLEY and JOHN FIDDY.
The warm sounds on this LP are incredible, and as the line up suggest you are in for some serious listening pleasure.
DUM-DUM - Art The Grass
DUM-DUM - Dum-dum Theme
DUM-DUM - Cosa Nostra
GEORGE SHEARING - "The Way We Are" (1975) MPS/BASF RECORDS
Years ago I was a courier driver, dropping parcels up and down the country in a van. Not much fun, you might think,
but this provided a way of travelling around the country at someone else's expense, allowing me to stop and do some diggin' while I was there. So if you are expecting a parcel which is later than it should be, now you know why!
I tended to do multi-drops around the town and cities, but luckily many were at business addresses which lead me past lots of charity shops. If I spotted a place worth a look, I would pull over and run in. This GEORGE SHEARING LP was found in the same way and contains some nice and hard drum break action and a spacey cover. Possibly my favourite version of "Aquarius". Nice shades GEORGE!
GEORGE SHEARING - "Aquarius"
*CENSORED* DRUM BREAK LP
Now this is the LP I found in a tiny charity shop right across the road from my boy DYNO's crib. Now he must have been sleeping not to check this shop, cuz I only popped in there
before heading to DYNO's for a beat session, and found this little beauty for 30p. I gotta be honest I was not aware of the break on this record, it was a blind purchase, and a good one at that. I would never normally think to buy an LP by *CENSORED*, but it was worth every penny just to see KID DYNO's face melt as I dropped it on his very own turntables. There is something VERY satisfying about copping a dope break on someone else's turf. Even if it is my buddy DYNO LOL!
There are three breakdowns, the last being the dopest.
Secret drum break
* THIS POST HAS BEEN CENSORED FOR YOUR OWN DRUM BREAK SAFETY, AND ALSO TO CONSERVE THE RIGHT TO US KEEPING THAT DOPE SHIT UNDER OUR KANGOL HATS - YA DIG??
BEAT DETECTIVE - DAILY DIGGERS