Thursday 31 March 2011

Back to '85 - Stupid Fresh

Let's take it back to the stupid fresh era of 1985 with these boxfresh vintage NIKE RECOGNITION HIGHs. This all white leather pair has the grey suede swoosh, typical of many NIKE designs in the mid 80s. I'm just waiting for the right sunny day to come along so I can take these babies off ice and rock 'em. They've lasted for 25 years in the box so I'm sure a few more weeks won't do any harm. Roll on the summertime!

The Biz by Joe Conzo

This is a great photo of the diabolical BIZ MARKIE taken by the similarly legendary photographer JOE CONZO. As you can see BIZ is certainly in the zone whilst spinning his selection of 45s (looks like the OG of "last night" by ESTHER WILLIAMS on the deck). Check out JOE CONZO here.

"The party rippin, never trippin, king of crowd pleasin
I can turn it out without a doubt in any season
I entertain crowds, a million and thousand
Homeboys makin noise, as I do browse through a girl's blouse!"

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Adidas Top Tens

ADIDAS have been on top form lately, especially with their decision to re-release the TOP TEN highs in all different colourways. I have been biding my time waiting for the freshest combo to come out, and when I saw these black and white old school looking joints I knew I had to have them. It's not like I need another pair of fly kicks, but this pair made my sneaker alarm well and truly ring off the wall!

Nucleus New Sureshot

My man NUCLEUS is back with another killer b-boy mix to make the break boys and break girls in town wanna get down. NUCLEUS has been putting together mixes for years, and believe me when I say he ain't no new jack when it comes to floor rocking breaks. His previous mixtape projects include the excellent "All Music Lovers" which was recorded with the legendary and much-missed BREAK DJ LEACY (rest in peace Jim). This mix itself is inspired by and dedicated to LEACY, and the whole 45 minutes is solid beats throughout and aimed 100% at satisfying those who are rocking the dancefloor. Real DJs spin for their crowd - remember that!

Nucleus-NewSureShot-B-Beats by Nucleus

Saturday 26 March 2011

16 Levels

You may remember around a year ago I posted up some dope remixes by EMELVI - well believe me this dude's beat game is super tight, and you can check out more of his kick and snare shenanigans over at his 16 LEVELS website along with his partner GONSO. These dudes from Spain are into making beats the traditional way, so expect lots of beat digging and SP1200/MPC action, plus trips across Europe hunting for records. That's my kinda dudes!

Broadcasting Live

Yeah I know it's been ages since I promised another edition of the BREAKS FOR DAYS radio show. Well, to make up for the lack of broadcast and to thank you all for your unwavering patience I have thus recorded a bumper 90 minute session to keep you booming in your jeep, rockin' on your stereo, or getting down on the street corner (or wherever you may be). As usual I've tried to include some quality vintage hip hop beats for the headnodders, together with a selection of bad ass breaks for the beatheads. I've not had a lot of time to put this together, so my apologies to those who left requests recently - I will feature these NEXT time and include all the records you aksed for. This time is more a random journey through the crates. Plug yourself in and enjoy!


Tuesday 15 March 2011

Q-Bert Cutting Up Breakbeats

Nice to hear scratch master Q-BERT cutting up over some original breaks rather than over some of those manic electro style cutting beats. Feel the funk baby!

Tales of the Unexpected

I've spent over 25 years collecting records. As a very young kid I started my journey into music by first buying cassette tapes of late 70's ska and mod artists (there was a mod revival here in the UK at that time, I would have been about 8 years old). However when I stumbled on electro and early hip hop music, I realised cassettes were not the format I should be buying - you couldn't scratch with cassettes and if you were down with hip hop a turntable was an essential tool of the trade. Over the years of persistent hunting for that next fix of vinyl dope, I must have been in hundreds of record shops across the UK, Europe and also in the NY tri-borough on visits to the Big Apple, and it goes without saying that I enjoy the hunt just as much as I do the records I buy.
Every vinyl fiend will have stories to tell about finding stuff, or strange places where they have found this holy grail etc.. and it is certainly true that the most unexpected places are often the best to dig up an under the radar LP or 12". So whether it be a charity shop, boot sale or second-hand shop, never underestimate what you might find when you walk inside that door. There might be a goldmine of rare records gathering dust in the back, or an eccentric owner who has clearly lost all sense of reality, or an over enthusiastic fellow collector who first bends your ear and then stalks you from shop to shop. Trust me I've experienced all of these unexpected situations while I've been record hunting at some time or other, and I'm sure many more instances will occurr on future missions. I'm gonna share with you some of the more unusual experiences in future posts, and here's one to kick things off.
My first year of hunting for wax in New York was back in 1994, and despite a friend pulling out of the trip at the last minute, I decided to still make the pilgrimage to the home of hip hop to check out some jams, soak up the atmosphere and hunt down some vinyl. Of course this was before the days of the SOUND LIBRARY, GIMME GIMME and BIG CITY record shops, the spots I was heading for were ROCK & SOUL, BEAT STREET, DOWNSTAIRS RECORDS, BLEEKER BOBS, and the newly opened FAT BEATS fledgling store. But whilst walking through Greenwich Village on the lower west side of Manhattan, I stumbled upon the HOUSE OF OLDIES. This store had only the smallest shopfront, but with an inviting sign in the window reading "No CDs No Tapes Just Records" - what more could you wanna hear? I went inside with the quickness, armed only with my little book of breaks that I used to carry around with me back then. My good friend DJ LEACY had helped me compile it and it included an alphabetical list of the records I was looking for. Back then there was no way my hip hop soaked brain was gonna remember some of these titles from other musical genres so I found that the book helped out big time.
The small store front lead to an even smaller shop once inside, maybe only 8ft wide by approximately 15ft deep, with some racks around the perimeter and just enough room for one thin rack freestanding in the center. Maybe it would take an hour to go through them all. But within two minutes of trying to browse the racks of records, the elderly and somewhat grumpy grey haired owner couldn't contain himself and insisted forcing some help on me. I guess he thought I was a lost tourist, the conversation went something like this....

OWNER: "Hey buddy can I help you?"
ME: "Just looking for some of these titles" (waves the book)
The owner beckons to see the book.
OWNER: "Look, don't waste my time, which of these records do you want?"
ME: "er....which ones do you have?"
OWNER: "I got everything you have listed here, tell me which ones you want but only if you're gonna buy them!"

Suffice to say being on the receiving end of his lack of politeness and direct sales approach was rather daunting the least. But how on earth does he have all these records in such a tiny shop anyway? I picked out three LPs at a price of 20 dollars each, and he proceeded to pick up a telephone, and repeated the order to a colleague who was obviously elsewhere.

He put down the phone and then just sat back down at the counter and stared at me without saying another word. I endured the eery silence for around a couple of minutes, by which time a rumbling sound in the floorboards gave way to a "dumb-waiter" like hatch which opened on some kind of pulley system. The trap door opened and a box of records emerged from beneath our feet -it was the three LPs I had asked for. What I didn't know was that this small conservative looking shop was actually the mere tip of the iceberg of records lying below in their dusty basement. I cannot recall exactly but I seem to remember him telling me that the basement stretched underneath other stores along the street and hence he had 1000s of records stored away. One of those LPs I bought was THE LANDLORD soundtrack by AL KOOPER, also a 5TH DIMENSION LP with the heavy drum break "Good News". I paid up and he eventually apologised for his lack of patience, excusing himself by telling me of the time wasters he gets in the shop. I hate to think now what else he may have had hidden down there in that basement. And naive of me not to ask for something more on the rare side, but I left that shop happy despite the bizarre set up in there. More tales from the vinylside very soon, and if you have a tale yourself please drop a comment and share with us all. We all know how crazy these record dealer dudes can be!

Friday 11 March 2011

DJ Format vs Mr Thing

On Saturday 26th March, DOCTORS ORDERS presents a battle of the deejays NOT to be missed at THE BIG CHILL HOUSE on Pentonville Road LONDON. DJ FORMAT and MR THING will be going head to head on 4 turntables in three 15 minute rounds. I'm sure you will all agree that MR THING and FORMAT are the two best hip hop deejays in the UK, so this event will be rammed to capacity without a doubt.
Setting the competitive mood is SPIN DOCTOR who once again will be hosting another edition of the ever-popular Hip-Hop Pub Quiz as well as warming up the set alongside DJ LOK. Both DJ FORMAT and MR THING are good friends of THE DOCTOR'S ORDERS, and indeed of each other, but on this night the years of friendship are put to one side as they go head to head over three themed rounds. They will be trying to outdo each other in rounds dedicated to 45s, original breaks and Hip Hop with the winner chosen by one means only - the crowd reaction. Once the hostilities are put to rest these great friends will be treating the assembled masses to a freestyle, unrehearsed 4 deck set for the last hour of this incredible FREE night out! Don't miss this one.

9pm - 4am Saturday 26th March 2011

257-259 Pentonville Road
nearest tube Kings Cross

Wednesday 9 March 2011

DJ Dek One - Audio Violence

A few weeks ago I bumped into DJ DEK ONE in an East London record shop. Before a fight ensued over the funk 45 crates, I thought it best to make friends with my fellow break head and discuss beats, b-boying, the state of hip hop and things like that. Just like me he is partial to a dope jam that spins on 45 revs per minute, especially if there is some bare b-boy drums in the breakdown. In fact right now he has his "AUDIO VIOLENCE" mix CD on rotation right about now, full to the brim of secret squirrel beats for the circle. I gotta admit it has got me asking questions already. As the cover says it's "an hour of fresh rare brutal b-boy breaks recorded live all doubled up on 45rpm records Bronx style". Have a peep at the snippet below and then contact DEK ONE directly to get your copy for the mere price of £5 plus postage (or email him at oldskoolkool at yahoo dot co dot uk). And that's a small price to pay, cuz these ain't budget beats!

Monday 7 March 2011

Pause for the Cause

There's been a lack of posts here lately because I'm still suffering from a heavy flu 3 weeks after first coming down with it, so I ain't exactly feeling too "dynomite" right now. So to keep the crowd moving here's a re-up of our very first BREAKS FOR DAYS radio show. I'm sure a few of you remember this one, but I still find it an enjoyable listen myself. Check it out.....and I hope to resume normal service and be back with you real soon.
Also, within a few weeks I hope to have the FRESH SKI & MO ROCK interview ready for you to read. Those guys were an absolute pleasure to meet, and they gave me a real insight into the very beginnings of hip hop culture here in London. Lots of interesting nuggets of old school info, plus a few facts you will definitely not be aware of! Stay tuned y'all!

Friday 4 March 2011

Classic Material 1991

March 19th sees the continuation of the CLASSIC MATERIAL series of nights at the CITY ARTS & MUSIC PROJECT. On the menu for the night will be Hip Hop from 1991 and associated breaks only (there's even a music policy poster above the turntables). Last month's 1990 night with MR THING was packed and as you would expect he owned the turntables like he usually does. Props to CHRIS READ, DJ NICKNAME, SUPERIX and all those who attended on the night.
This month the deck duties transfer to OLLIE TEEBA, peep the flyer below...

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Rasheed Chappell, Kenny Dope & DJ Scratch

All I've been hearing in 2011 so far is fresh new music, maybe the new year has been a turning point in music terms cuz the quality control has been stepped up a notch. Peep this banger from RASHEED CHAPPELL produced by KENNY DOPE - this beat is so ill, good to see KENNY DOPE still churning out headnodders. And EPMD's deck maestro DJ SCRATCH drops some cuts on this one so it's a guaranteed sureshot.