Wednesday 30 May 2012

Dust & Grooves

In the vinyl collecting world, the combination of the two words in this post title above is the bane of most record hoarders' lives. Sometimes their quest to keep their records preserved and free from foreign bodies can become an obsession. Personally I don't mind the odd bit of static or a crusty sounding drum break, and I buy my records to rock them not just to stick in a pile for posterity. However if we were instead talking about the website DUST & GROOVES, then I would go as far as to say it is a serious contender for the best vinyl related site on the web.

Set up and run by EILON PAZ (a serious collector himself who has a long standing love for photography also), the site documents some of the more serious record collectors across the globe and features EILON's amazing photography. The site has been running for some years already but has recently undergone a re-vamp and is now bumper full of interviews and extraordinary photos taken everywhere from New York to Paris and from Cuba to right here in London. If YOU are a serious vinyl collector then you NEED to get over to DUST & GROOVES and indulge in all things vinyl. If you've not been over to DUST & GROOVES before then you are in for a real treat I promise you.

"DUST & GROOVES is a photography and interview project documenting vinyl collectors in their most natural and intimate environment: the record room. Dust & Grooves maintains the integrity and history of vinyl, as well as the musical heritage that goes along with every record in these collections. Dust & Grooves is the only project of its kind that documents vinyl lovers and their collections in this most intimate way. The project will continue to help preserve the integrity of vinyl records as well as the many colorful personalities that collect them. As technology moves forward and many music formats go digital, Dust & Grooves helps keep the rich, warm, analog life of vinyl spinning. Originally from Israel, EILON PAZ has traveled the world, from Australia to Cuba and Argentina to Ghana, in pursuit of intriguing and memorable subjects. In addition to managing his own photography studio in Tel Aviv for eight years, EILON has shot for Israel’s top cultural publications and for the acclaimed cookbook The Book of New Israeli Food (Schocken/Random House). Eilon’s work has appeared in worldwide publications such as Wax Poetics, Saveur, Monocle, Conde Nast Traveler, and Delta Airlines Sky magazines, and French music magazine Vibrations. His lifetime of photography experience shines through in his most personal project, DUST & GROOVES"

Tuesday 29 May 2012

The Purist ft Action Bronson & Roc Marciano

I've never before mentioned ACTION BRONSON on this site, but then again do I really need to? Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two years you will already know how dope this big man is when he is clutching the microphone. And I'm sure he doesn't need any additional hype from me (although in my opinion he deserves all the hype surrounding him).

I just copped the super limited PURIST 45rpm single feat BRONSON and fellow wordsmith ROC MARCIANO on the flip. Design by my fellow Vinyl Veteran MR KRUM from COLD ROCK STUFF. I said COLD ROCK STUFF - listen close now cuz that's a name you're gonna be hearing a lot in the very near this space.

Monday 28 May 2012

DJ A Sides

Being a beatdigger and the record obsessed individual that I am, it seems that I am at a stage in my life now where 95 per cent of my total friends are either deejays, record collectors or hip hop enthusiasts. Shallow or selective? I will let you decide. That's just the way my life has panned out (see I'm even using stereo metaphors!). Either that or it's the fact that the other people I meet in life can't bear to be near a rap obsessed 40 something year old. Perhaps I am a Hip Hop Bore!
One day whilst at work a few years back I had a chance meeting with someone who told me he was a drum & bass DJ/producer who used to be into Hip Hop back in the 80s (when shit was truly fresh and hip hop was slowly filtering across the UK). Obviously this dude and I had lots of points in common and we struck up a friendship. It was only a few weeks later I found out that he was actually drum & bass legend DJ A SIDES. Being a hip hop purist that rarely ventures off genre I have to be honest I wasn't aware of his reputation and standing within the DNB community. But you only have to Google the name DJ A-SIDES and you will see how busy this man is, in fact he has only just returned to the UK following a world tour. Yes I did say "world tour" - it doesn't get much bigger than that I guess. But every so often he takes time out to catch up on hip hop and has never got outta touch with what's fresh and what's wack. He even came with me one day to meet JAZZY JAY when the Bronx legend was doing a showcase at our local DJ store in East London.

So to cut a long story short, if you're into records and hip hop beats then the chances are we will get on like a house on fire. If not, then I apologise in advance cuz you're probably gonna be bored to tears. So to sign off, here's my good friend and DRUM & BASS stalwart DJ A-SIDES cutting and mixing some heavy electro and early rap joints for the Old School crew. Somebody say "hell yeah!"

Sunday 27 May 2012

Boogie Down Productions

SCOTT LA ROCK: Yo wassup Blastmaster KRS ONE this jam is kickin'!
KRS ONE: Word, yo word up D-Nice.
D-NICE: Yo wassup Scott La Rock
SCOTT LA ROCK: Yo man we chilling this funky fresh jam. I want to tell you a little something about us we're the Boogie Down Productions crew and due to the fact that no-one else out there knew what time it was, we have to tell you a little story about where we come from...

DJ Spinna & Chris Read - Best of Perception

My good friend CHRIS READ has been hard at work (as usual) on the mixing desk knocking out two essential mix CDs both released through BBE RECORDS last month. If like myself you have had his BBE RECORDS 15th ANNIVERSARY mix on heavy rotation since it dropped last year, then no doubt you will enjoy these next two mixes just as much if not more.
CHRIS certainly has great taste in music, but he also knows what to do with a dope beat when it comes to creating a mix, so when he teamed up with fellow record connoisseur DJ SPINNA to compile and mix the best of PERCEPTION and TODAY RECORDS, I knew we were in for a musical treat from start to finish. I myself am a big fan of the PERCEPTION label, and so are many Hip Hop producers as their catalogue has been sampled by so many including SHOWBIZ & AG, THE BEATNUTS, GHOSTFACE, Q-TIP and MADLIB. Personal favourites on the label include WANDA ROBINSON, J.J. JACKSON, FATBACK BAND, JAMES MOODY. Even if you are not a particular fan of the label, you will no doubt recognise many of the tracks on this mix if not the samples used. (In fact CHRIS uses one of my all time favourite records JOE THOMAS "Chitlins and Cuchifritos" on this mix). So if you are looking for a high quality Summer mix to stick on repeat throughout the heat then this will definitely satisfy your musical needs.

But that's not all, CHRIS has also just completed his LATIN CONCRETE: A MODERN LATIN BEAT SUITE CD - a collection of contemporary Latin influenced DJ/Producer led cuts. This mix is available on double CD (one mixed & one unmixed) or digital package through BBE RECORDS. Here's what CHRIS had to say about LATIN CONCRETE....
"Unlike many of the compilations to have emerged from the BBE stable, this release is less about unearthing rare or unheard music and more about shining a light on a sound that has been developing in its own small corner of the musical spectrum over the last decade or so.
I approach this compilation, not as someone who grew up around Latin influenced music or with any lengthy history of involvement in it, but as a DJ and music fan who grew up listening to the early sample based music of the late 80s and early 90s has, ever since, set about exploring the many directions that music has travelled in. The music which appears on this compilation is the product of just one of those many avenues. The tracks featured here come from a variety of sources but in many cases are the product of a generation of DJs and producers who similarly grew up listening to the sample rich hip hop, house and more of the 80s and 90s and have taken that influence and applied it to a particular sound, in this case the varied musical styles of the Latin Diaspora.
This is modern Latin music from a DJ's perspective - rhythm heavy, beat driven and infectious."

Friday 25 May 2012

Soundsci Album

Pre-orders have begun today for the eagerly awaited SOUNDSCI full length LP "FORMULA 99" on CRATE ESCAPE RECORDS site. And not only is there double vinyl available to purchase but also a whole assortment of goodies to go with the release including SOUNDSCI tee shirts, posters, lyric sheets, stickers etc.. I've heard this LP in advance and I assure you that you do not wanna miss out on the vinyl as there are some absolute bangers on there. I'll be grabbing my copy so do not snooze, then wake and lose! Shouts to JONNYCUBA, OLLIE TEEBA, AUDESSEY and OXYGEN.
Soundsci - Formula 99 Snippets mix by Crate Escape Records

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Breaking Down Blind Alley

I don't expect all hip hoppers to be fully aware of all the breaks used in our music, but a healthy appreciation of the the funk is essential if you really want to understand what hip hop culture is all about (and when I say funk I mean all things funky not just the genre itself). However if you are an active b-boy or b-girl then you SHOULD definitely be aware of what joints you are actually getting down to on the floor to fully express your moves. But for the hip hop public as a whole, I'm happy that some people could not care less where this or that particular break originated from. Although I can tell you that there are also many people out there that simply cannot sleep until they identify a crusty drum break featured on an old school block party tape, or a sample from the latest dope hip hop track. This is no surprise to me, considering Hip Hop was conceived deep inside the grooves of two identical records being spun simultaneously by the pioneers in the Bronx. The birthplace of Hip Hop is no doubt New York City, but if you want to physically pinpoint it then you need to start looking in the crates.

There are however a few breakbeats that become so famous that even people outside the hip hop community are aware of their relevance and importance. Such titles as "Funky Drummer" "Apache" "Amen Brother" and "Nautilus" will often get a reaction from more than just the hip hoppers amongst us. Another break record which over the years has transcended to this same level is "Blind Alley" by THE EMOTIONS, which to my knowledge was first used by MARLEY MARL and BIG DADDY KANE on the 1988 classic "Ain't No Half Steppin'". The first few bars of "Blind Alley" are so alluring and so damn funky that MARLEY was not the only one to flip the beat and it soon became a case of "OK who can use this beat the best!". What sticks in my mind is DJ BABU's infamous beat juggle routine using the track which still blows my mind every time I watch the video, but tracks like "Pink Cookies..." and "Sippin' Brandy" have got my immediate attention just by using THE EMOTIONS funkiest moment!
OLIVER WANG over at SOUL-SIDES has recently broken down some of the Blind Alley sampling joints of yesteryear in his article BREAKING DOWN BLIND ALLEY. SOUL-SIDES are also currently running a competition for producers to chop up BLIND ALLEY and submit their resulting beats which will be shared on SOUL-SIDES and rated by the readers.

And what do you know - WANG even gives my very own AIN'T NO HALF STEPPIN' DAILY DIGGERS REMIX a little shine in his article too. Thanks to WANG and to SOUL-SIDES.

Monday 21 May 2012

You Know The Time

STEADY SERV ain't half stepping in this dope video with beat produced by ANDY C and cuts by TONE B NIMBLE. The production ain't super complicated on this unreleased CHICAGO joint from 1994 and SERV keeps it fairly plain and simple on the microphone, but this joint just has something special about it. Or maybe it's that catchy SLICK RICK hook that has me fiending for more. Even the video is understated and low key, with plenty of graff backdrops and Bruce Lee visuals - just how I like it. To quote a famous song "it ain't what you do it's the way that you do it and that's what gets results". You can now buy this track on vinyl through BLACK PEGASUS who have decided to release this and the other 2 tracks from STEADY SERV's demo tape. Here's what BLACK PEGASUS have to say.....

Once again the mighty Black Pegasus dusts off a holy grail that has been buried since 1994 in the Chicago hip hop demo shrine. This relic is the immortal "You Know the Time" EP by Chicago legend Steady Serv!! Back in the summer of 1994 the craft-matic lyricist, Stedy Serv, along with legendary producer Andy C. (BSTC, All Natural, Mary J. Blige Fame) and Superman DJ, Tone B. Nimble (All Natural Fame) whipped up a timeless piece of funky Hip Hop at United Technique Studios. This session manifested into a 3 track demo that was championed by DJ Kevin Beacham on his underground hip hop show "Time Travel Radio" on 89.3 FM WNUR and was certified "Classic". This 3 song demo cassette tape defined "boom bap" before it was "boom bap"!! Lyricist Steady Serv was dropping metaphoric intelligent funky flows over Andy C.'s soulful samples and hard drums on the sweet "life Of Luxury". The razor sharp scratch chorus from Gang Starr on the dark and eerie "Better Safe Then Sorry" is the epitomie of hip hop during this time. last but not least though and self titled track "You Know The Time" is a pure monster anthem!! Andy C's bass line chop from Bruce Lee's movie sound track "Enter The Dragon" will have you jumping in a mosh pit!"

Check out the video and cop the vinyl if you dig it using the link above. This one going out to all those crap rappers...!!

Thursday 10 May 2012


Awesome: I F#ckin Shot That

The PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA in Leicester Square LONDON is just about to show the 2006 BEASTIE BOYS film "AWESOME: I FUCKIN SHOT THAT" - a film put together by MCA's own production company celebrating 20 years of BEASTIE behaviour, featuring unseen live footage and backstage antics. This will be the first time the film has seen a cinema screening in the UK and will be a a poignant affair in the wake of MCA's passing. The screening is on the 18th MAY at 18:45. Thanks to DJ SKAMROK for giving me the heads up on this one, I NEED to see this. Not to be missed if you were around in 1985 when these fellas first dropped.

Fresher Than Your Average

There's a sneaker battle this Saturday 12th May In Williamsburg BROOKLYN NY at THE PUBLIC ASSEMBLY hosted by DALLAS PENN and PREMIUM PETE. So if you think you got fresher than your average footwear and you're in the NYC area this weekend then get your boxfresh pairs ready and register for the battle over at WWW.FTYASNEAKERBATTLE.COM. You can also buy, sell and trade on the day so if you need some more sole get over to BK. Only the fresh will survive!

Tuesday 8 May 2012

No Scuffs

For years I've tried to keep my footwear fresh whatever the circumstances, even if it means carrying some baby-wipes and toothbrush. I even recall one day whilst shopping some years ago along Oxford Street in London it began to rain cats and dogs while I was wearing gleaming all white Nike AF1s. I headed straight to JD SPORTS to buy another pair of more durable rain-friendly sneaks so I could bust them immediately and keep the AF1s fresh. You gotta do what you gotta do - it was either that or go barefoot (I'm sure my fellow footwear freaks will understand my dilemma here.)
So suffice to say I was flabbergasted recently to see that NIKE now sell super duper limited edition sneakers WITH READY MADE SCUFFS! They gotta be kidding me right??

Beastly Behaviour

I'm still struggling to digest the news of the passing of MCA, however the news today that TUF AMERICA have just filed a lawsuit against the BEASTIE BOYS for unauthorised use of TROUBLE FUNK samples dating back to 1985. The lawsuit itself was filed the day before MCA's untimely death, by none other than TUFF CITY RECORDS owner AARON FUCHS, and named each of the BEASTIE BOYS members individually. As you may guess, the response to this lawsuit by grieving BEASTIES fans is one of utter disgust. Especially considering AARON FUCHS's own personal record over the years has been anything but unblemished, and every story I ever hear about this dude always gives me the impression he lives on the shady side of town!
A message to TUF AMERICA - Mr FUCHS you certainly know how to create enemies in this hip hop business, but may I suggest those in glass houses should never throw stones. Remember, what comes around always goes around and I guess I'm not the only one wishing some damn bad luck on the TUF CITY RECORDS founder. And to be honest it really is a damn shame considering it is one of my favourite labels from the Golden Era of Hip Hop. But you only have to check their own catalogue to find a long list of unauthorised samples, so here's hoping this turns around and bites HIM on the ass!
A message to the BEASTIE fans - we all feel the pain from the loss of MCA at such a young age. The BEASTIE BOYS made a massive impression on us as young kids and they continued to do so for over 25 years. We have truly been blessed by their uncompromising music and "whogivesafuck?" attitude to conformity. Their music will be played forever. And to help ease your pain, check out this unseen BEASTIE BOYS footage taken from the third series of THE DAVE CHAPPELLE SHOW (which never aired) and hence this clip was never shown. How fucking dope are these dudes? Eeeeeeee drop!

Saturday 5 May 2012

Vinyl Veterans @ Brighton

One again it's bank holiday time so if you wanna enjoy your 3-day weekend properly then may I suggest you get down to BRIGHTON this Sunday for the VINYL VETERANS BANK HOLIDAY BBQ special? As the name suggests there will be plenty of beats, breaks and burgers and a strictly vinyl only policy that will satisfy your eardrums. Of course I expect a few BEASTIE BOYS joints to be played so come along and celebrate their music with us and spill some beer for ADAM YAUCH aka MCA. Myself and BEAT DETECTIVE will be making the journey down to the South Coast to enjoy the festivities and drop a selection of our favourite beats (and hopefully yours), so there's no excuses people - get down with the get down!

Friday 4 May 2012

Rest In Peace MCA

I was very sad today to hear that BEASTIE BOYS member MCA has passed away at the age of 47. This is a very sore loss for hip hop, the BEASTIES had a massive influence on me and many others of my generation, despite their off key comedic approach to hip hop music. My thoughts are with his family and of course MIKE D and AD-ROCK, DJ HURRICANE and MIXMASTER MIKE. I had the very brief pleasure of speaking to MCA aka ADAM YAUCH at ROCK STEADY ANNIVERSARY in '95 and he was down to earth and more than friendly. Rest in eternal peace MCA and thanks for your music.