Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Lewis Parker SP1200

Welcome to the World Of Dusty Vinyl...

Strictly Weapons

You'd better reach for your kevlar headgear and bulletproof vest, DRASAR MONUMENTAL over at HIP HOP BATTLEFIELD has unleashed some deadly remix beats from the HHB ammo dump. Heat seaking beats and laser guided sureshots are directed towards the frontline. Take cover.


Record Porn

You'll go blind!!

Holdin' Court

Monday, 30 May 2011

Skeme TNT

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Juice Crew Live

Thanks to my man KWOTE ONE from AUSTRALIA for putting me onto this dope footage of JUICE CREW members BIZ MARKIE and KOOL G RAP (sporting an 8-ball jacket) live on stage from 1990. Ah one two ah one two!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Good Times

NO HALF STEPPIN in NORWICH last Saturday was a blast, it's great to see a crowd who know their good music and get up and shake their thangs when the beats drop. Myself and BEAT DETECTIVE kept it mostly at 45rpm all night, and we even finished the night with an old school mic session over doubles of Chic's "Good Times" (courtesy of ILL INSPIRED & CHROME) which sounded great with the mic echo. Norwich heads represented, so thanks to CHROME and DJ JUST ONE for their hospitality, and also shout out to KEL FX, FORCE 10, PALMER, ANDY, GRUMBLE, REPO, and also KAREN INCH HIGH who travelled over an hour to be there - I hope you all enjoyed the selection.

Thanks to REPO for the photos.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

SP1200 - The Art & The Science

The EMU SP1200 drum machine is without doubt synonymous with the golden era sound of hip hop music from back in the late 80's early 90's. An SP-1200 and AKAI S950 as a combination were the weapons of choice for most hip hop producers - the SP taking care of the sequencing and gritty drum sounds with the longer samples being triggered off the AKAI. Many of your favourite records from this period were made on this combo, and the SP provided the raw sound that hip hop artists wanted.
Developed in 1985 as the improved version of the EMU SP12, the SP1200 soon became a favourite with producers like PAUL C, CED GEE, JAZZY JEFF, PETE ROCK, LORD FINESSE, EASY MO BEE and others. In fact if youn watch the FRESHCO & MIZ video in the post below you will hear DJ MIZ describing how KURTIS MANTRONIK first used an SP at the FRESH FEST and inspired other DJs such as JAZZY JEFF to find themselves one. Despite the limited sampling time and very basic capabilities, the machine is still very much sought after over 25 years later. even in this age of PC based software like PRO-TOOLS and LOGIC. There have been many drum machines that have been used within hip hop; ROLAND TR-808 and TR-909s, DMXs, MPC60s, MPC2000s, ASR10s, but few are held in such high regard as the EMU SP series.
To celebrate the history of the SP1200 a new book has been released in a very limited quantity of 150, written and compiled by SP fanatic PBODY (what's up bro!).
Entitled "SP1200: THE ART & THE SCIENCE" the book features everything from history of the machine and its predecessors, tips on how to look after and maintain your SP, how to make your SP beats kick like a mule, and interviews on various SP-using producers from across the globe. It's also good to see my homeboy MAC MCRAW from VINYL VETERANS interviewed in the book, there ain't much about making beats on the SP that he doesn't know (check him out on YOUTUBE here and click on the photo below to read MAC;s interview.)

For more details on the SP1200 book and to order a copy check this out.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Freshco & Miz story

You may remember our interview back in July last year with the 1989 NMS MC Champ and TOMMY BOY recording artist MC FRESHCO. Well at the end of that interview we promised you a scoop of the FRESHCO & MIZ documentary film as soon as it was available. Well it's time to sit back relax and listen to some hip hop history as I bring you the world premiere of some of the film. Remember where you saw it first!

Super shout out goes to Shawn Conrad aka MC FRESHCO.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Jam Fu Rockin' the Breaks

JAM FU delivers some hard b-boy beats here in this sneak preview from his forthcoming mix with KHAN FU. TBB (THE BRONX BOYS) rocking the doubles how it should be done. And for those who care this is 100 per cent vinyl, keeping the true art of beat digging alive. Keep your eyes and ears open for the full mix when it drops by hitting up JAM FU through the link below.
Preview from the forthcoming Bboy Vinyl Breaks mix by JamFu

Classic Material

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Breaks on 45

45 revolutions per minute is my choice of format when it comes to beats and breaks on vinyl. Don't ask me to go into detail - put simply I just think the breaks sound crunchier and much louder on 45 revs. So whenever I get the opportunity I pick as many drum breaks on 7" single that I can find. Whether it be a Ultimate Breaks & Beats classic or a few bars of open drums I just gots to have it. I'm real fond of uptempo b-boy joints with bongos and all of that, but also I can dig those laid back downtempo beats that get your head nodding. So while all those other hungry beatdiggers are raiding the LP and twelve inch crates, I'm lurking somewhere nearby with a box of dirty 45s. That's where I always head first.
Here's a few funky 45rpm records from the stash, plus a bonus looped nugget to keep you bouncin'!

THE GRASSROOTS - "You and Love Are The Same" 1969 DUNHILL RECORDS

I have this classic break on LP but had to cop the 45 when I spotted it in a rock record shop. This beat is off the usual funk radar, but yet it appeared within hip hop music very early on due to Lenny Roberts' (RIP) Ultimate Breaks & Beats series. I forget which one but its the same one that features "Blind Alley" by The Emotions. The track itself is a trippy rock joint but eventually breaks down into a snappy drum break and then a fat ass bassline! Also I remember this beat from Q-Berts legendary "Pre-school breaks mix". Easy to find, and cheap as chips when you do come across it. As in the lyrics "I feel so groovy and high".


Not to be confused with the more well known group THE PEPPERS, PEPPERS was an early 70's funk outfit about which I can find very little. A few mentions on some record websites and a youtube video, but this track deserves more attention than it is currently is getting. In fact, I included it on my BORN TO GET DOWN breaks selection a while back as it is perfect beat fodder for breakers. The intro on this record is a stormer so I took the liberty of performing a Louis Flores style edit to the intro, but don't miss the breakdown in the middle it is nothing short of killer! A fading horn stab leads to some manic bongo riffs and repeats just as you would want it for playing at a b-boy jam. This is some raw funk and a highly recommended record for your crates. My copy is a little beaten with the label coming off, but I have yet to find another. If you stumble upon a box of these little beauties please remember where you heard it first and grab me one.

Peppers loop

This dope little record has been used by so many people in hip hop including A Tribe Called Quest, Craig Mack , Gang Starr, INI, Lord Finesse on "Save That Shit" and many others including recently by Kanye. But finding out the title of this track took me years, and even longer to actually track down a nice copy for a sensible price. You will no doubt recognise it from the very intro vocals and drum beat, but I love the section in the middle that Positive K ripped it over on "Step Up Front" which incidentally is one of my favourite hip hop joints from that era. So I made it my FIRST PRIORITY to get a copy of the break (can you see what I did there?) Check out "Bumping Bus Stop" and then recite Pos K's lyrics over the looped beat. 100% d-dope!

Bumping Bus Stop loop and POSITIVE K sample

DENNIS COFFEY - "Rid Sally Ride" 1972 A&M RECORDS
IF you love "Scorpio" and "Son of Scorpio" then you will know doubt love "Ride Sally Ride", another stone cold Dennis Coffey killer. Anything by this guitar legend from the early part of the 1970s is guaranteed listening material in my eyes. So I pick up almost everything I see by him or featuring his production.
Now this record is by no means rare, and be found fairly regularly in record shops for only a few pounds, but the pounding drums and sleazy guitar riffs are high quality. I must have heard this track a million times but I never get bored. I'm not sure if Coffey's fellow Funk Brother Bob Babett is on bass on this record, but I'm sure he was on "Scorpio". It was as a member of the Funk Brothers studio band that Coffey played on dozens of recordings for Motown Records, and introduced a hard rock guitar sound to producer Norman Whitfield's recordings, including distortion, Echoplex tape-loop delay, and wah-wah.

Ride Sally Ride loop

BARRETT STRONG - "Stand Up and Cheer For The Preacher" 1973 EPIC RECORDS
Continuing the Motown theme from above, BARRETT STRONG was the first artist to have a hit on the said label and also became a writing partner of Norman Whitfield on tracks like "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". So I was surprised to know there was a crispy little drum break lurking on one of his solo releases from 1973. Thanks to DJ FORMAT who finally came up with the goods after I had missed out on previous copies. The pressing isn't great on the UK copy I have so I will have to hunt down a US EPIC release in the hope that the drums sound a bit tougher.

Barrett Strong drums

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

We Getz It D'Down

Holy shit, now this is stooopid freeeshhhh!! Stop what you are doing immediately and peep this new joint by MELO MALO PAULINO featuring HOSTYLE. Remember where you heard it first - this is on the DAILY DIGGERS highly recommended list.

2-Shay - Daybreak

I'm liking this 2-SHAY "Daybreak" joint a lot. Laid back headnod beats + slick piano keys + some mellow horns, and that chorus hook is real catchy!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Bronx 1970s

It was in the midst of an environment like THIS that hip hop music and culture was born. Watch the videos and you will understand just how hip hop would rise like a phoenix from the flames of the burning Bronx. From degradation came inspiration.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


London Town has, like many cities, seen its fair share of record shops come and go over the last few years, with many well known spots in the record game being forced to close their doors after struggling to survive the financial squeeze and the ever changing music marketplace. At first my knee jerk reaction was to worry about how I was gonna get my regular fix of beats with all these spots disappearing. But I need not have worried - the records shops may have closed but the records themselves haven't disintegrated or simply disappeared, but merely moved on to another dusty spot somewhere else in the capital. All I have to do is find 'em!
One spot which still remains is one that I have visited throughout the years, although I have noticed that the quality and quantity of their stock has improved since the demise of the other shops, both in terms of vintage hip hop records and obscure under the radar drum breaks. The place is called FLASHBACK and is just a few minutes walk from Angel Tube Station in North London. I've always found some quality wax in FLASHBACK, but over the last 2 or 3 years I seem to be pulling some much better beats outta this place. This timeframe coincides with the closure of RECKLESS RECORDS in ISLINGTON only a short walk way. There is also HAGGLE VINYL within spitting distance but the eccentric owner and overpriced tightly packed racks possibly puts most people off doing business in this shop. Hence FLASHBACK is getting all the trade as far as people selling collections are concerned.
Today I was impressed by their back wall covered in record sleeves that have pink on there somewhere, and a side wall of food related covers. It brought out the nerd in me for sure.
So why am I telling you this, and giving up my fruitful spots for you all to hit? The answer is simple, good music is for sharing! So if you're in London and you need a fix of dusty vinyl, you can kill a few hours in FLASHBACK and be guaranteed to leave with a bag of goodies. And anyway, I hit that spot so often you will need to get up VERY early in the mornings to get to those beats before I do!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Raw SP

Check out LEWIS PARKER getting raw with the SP1200 and some BOB JAMES samples. Simple yet deadly!