Thursday 9 April 2009

Boot Sale Bargains with The Beat Detective

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: 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!
Here goes.......

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"

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 .

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

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!

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


Happy hunting...



Bob Disaster said...

hahaha highly entertaining post fellas.

Props from Bob Disaster!! :)

The Purist said...

what up kid dyno. haven't stopped by in a bit. cant believe you man found that break in your own back yard! keep up the good work.

MR KRUM said...

Another 'Twilight Zone' moment here fellas;) - Dyno knows what I'm talking about!!!

Every one of those records I have picked up either at boots or charity shops, apart from the Roy Williams LP (never seen that before). I bought 'Dum Dum' from a charity shop in Deptford and was blown away when I got home and listened to it. Very sadly it was in part of my collection that my childrens mum threw away shortly after we split up (around 1000 LPs). Still haven't found another copy to date. By the way, I'm pretty sure it isn't *the* Bob James.

The Beat Detective is on exactly the same wavelength as me when it comes to digging. There's nothing better than getting up at 5.30 on a sunny Sunday morning to hit the boot sales. In fact just this week I picked up another nice minty 'Hymns A Swingin' for 25p.

Persistance is the key. The amount of times I've gone out with mates who aren't as heavily into the car boots and charities as me and turned up nothing is unbelievable. They never come again. Suits me though!

I'd say 95% of my Soul/Funk/Jazz/Breaks collection has come from charity shops and bootsales, normally for no more than 50p or a pound a piece. The most I've ever spent on a non Hip Hop record was £20 for a mint copy of Hanged Man and even that was from a dealer who I used to see at the bootsales!

Anyway, BIG respect to you two for keeping the real VINYL digging traditions alive.

I bet you were sick when Beat Detective picked up that M.G. LP eh Dyno?!!!

Alex G said...

nice read.

the drums on that roy williams record are raw as hell man, never heard of it, gotta remember that one.

You lot know your stuff, looks like i've gotta start hittin' them bootsales.

fishlycoxwell said...

another amusing and informative post, nice one!

ian said...

classic post. big ups to beat detective and dyno. this is the kinda thing i live by - the early mornings, the thrift shops, the back-corner under the table dollabins. persistence is the key. i just hit up a spot normally with wack 80s house remixes that contained classic soul 45s at twenty-five cents each. yo keep it coming with the blog, i'm gonna re-post this over at, hope you don't mind.

-- DJ Ian Head / Dollabin

Ray Vaughn said...

Loving the site man, long time lurker, first time poster... I'm getting started over at, have a look when you get a chance, cheers!

Daily Diggers said...


thanks for the comments seems the bargain beats have struck a chord with you guys, just shows you simply cannot beat the feeling of finding a nugget for a few pennies - thats DIGGIN' y'all!

Bob, Mr Krum, Ray Vaughn, Ian Head, Alex and Fishly - keep hunting hard my friends, and please feel free to hit us off with a few of your cheap treats, and we will add a few of YOUR dopest finds.

Please add an mp3 and jpeg to

kidbiscuit at hotmail dot com

and don't forget to add where and how you found it.

peace from London


verge said...

Whoa, that's some dope dollar records. I'm especially feeling that Dum Dum jawn. Good lookin' out. Peace.

Daily Diggers said...

Yo verge, what's good.

Thanks for those recent Gangstarr posts bro, espec. the Thunderstorm Primo mix. Good to see you up in here!


Anonymous said...

The secret drums / *CENSORED* DRUM BREAK LP were sampled by Mark B on Mark B & Blade - We'll Survive from 1998..

DJ Kool JB said...

At the risk of wrath i'll just give you the artists name for the "censored' drum break.......

Max Greger