Rare House Waves

•03/18/2017 • Leave a Comment

R-421447-1274369611.jpegI wrote about house music a while back, but a recent night out with citizen Kang got us reminiscing about old times and prompted a mix of some of the house/techno we used to hear. As I’ve said before, I was never a big house fan, but when the rare groove scene died, it became almost inescapable at clubs, parties and, of course, raves. Unless you sought out a dedicated night like the Mo’ Wax sessions or headed down to somewhere like Dingwalls, chances are it’d be house everyone was dancing to. A trip to Ibiza (Al fell into a sewer); pulling moves on the floor at Riots with Kempski (sadly no longer with us); shaven-headed, wearing monks’ robes to a party for assassins (Eric wore a dog collar); traffic jams at 4 am on the M25 trying to find Energy (oh dear, the dancing…); hanging out at Ennerdale Road for days (Soph lipsynching to Alison Limerick); Tom playing ‘green’ house on his keyboard; or scanning the FM dial for pirate stations on a Friday night: for a couple of years all of this seemed to be accompanied by the same chords, jacking tracks and 303 squelches.

The mix below recalls the sound of those times. It starts with clubbier tracks and piano house, then a bit of “euphoric house” for Sean (pretty sure only he uses that term…). Next there are a few moodier tracks, including Chubb Rock’s hip house soundtrack to an early anti-Ecstasy campaign (“But he’s our friend..”). Corporation of One and Swan Lake opened my ears to fact that you could sample things other than old funk records (Queen and The Thompson Twins were their sources), while Together had a hit sampling Obi Wan Kenobi. Todd Terry makes the hip hop connection as Royal House, bringing some classic samples, including Jimmy Castor and Atmosfear, then reappears as Swan Lake. Next, Humanoid provides a bridge to more techno. Eon uses the darker sci-fi voices of the Guildsmen and Baron Harkonnen rather than old Ben, before the Scientist steals the intro from the satanic J.B.’s incarnation (heard here) to end the mix.

  1. You’re Gonna Miss Me – Turntable Orchestra
  2. Rich In Paradise – FPI Project
  3. Everybody All Over the World – FPI Project
  4. Move Your Body (Elevation) – Xpansions
  5. Too Blind To See It (Hurley’s House Dub) – Kym Sims
  6. Alright (Club Mix) – Urban Soul
  7. Ya Bad Chubbs (Crib Mix) – Chubb Rock
  8. The Real Life – Corporation Of One
  9. Neuromatrix – Neutron 9000
  10. Hardcore Uproar – Together
  11. Hardcore Uproar (Dub mix) – Together
  12. Yeah Buddy – Royal House
  13. House Nation – House Master Boyz & The Rude Boy of House
  14. In The Name of Love – Swan Lake
  15. Humanoid – Stakker
  16. Spice – Eon
  17. The Exorcist – The Scientist

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Eclectic Company

•12/31/2016 • 1 Comment

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Back in the 80’s it was common for a DJ to play a variety of music styles in one night, slipping house in with hip hop, rare groove and synth tracks of various kinds. Things became more siloed in the 90’s as dedicated funk/jazz, techno and hip hop nights sprung up, along with umpteen sub-genres of house music. But eclecticism made a come back with self-proclaimed champions like James Lavelle, crate diggers unearthing gems in all manner of obscure rock records and, more recently, the rise of mash-ups from groups like 2manyDJs.

At its best, playing across the board takes a lot of skill and produces interesting juxtapositions that are great to hear and fun to dance to – think DJ Harvey dropping Crosby, Stills and Nash’s Dark Star at sunrise, Neil playing the NBC Nightly News Theme at Back on The Streets, and the hilarious Mark Moore spinning Rupert The Bear at the Mud Club. At its worse, it’s just a random collection of CDs played by someone who isn’t actually a DJ (so often the case in various ‘chill out rooms’ in the 90’s).

Perhaps my favorite eclectic night was upstairs at Apple Crumble, Mr George and (Don’t Hold Back, Because It Feels Good To) Ed’s night at Herbal. They played everything from the Idjut Boys to Talk Talk and latinized Deep Purple, Lucy Loose had her finger on the trigger, Saul performed auto-erotically on the dance floor, and Miss Stinks once led me through the women’s toilets in a conga line.

The mix below tries to captures the eclecticism of such nights, including sources from Baloo to the Ballistic Brothers. It was fun to put together – if a bit challenging to mix Clyde Stubblefield over the top of The Who! Some of the tracks will be familiar; some won’t. But many evoke memories for me: Fashion played over and over on a C90 as a kid in Paris, Pink Panther movies at The Odeon Westbourne Grove, Radio Nova in Paris years later, K-creative and Ollie’s Pushmipullyu at the Orange, and years trying to track down that loop from De La Soul’s Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays (heard here).

  1. Intro – MC Solar
  2. Manteca (Funky Lowlives remix) – Dizzy Gillespie
  3. Wack Wack – Tim “Love” Lee
  4. Breakin’ – The P.T.A.
  5. Untitled – Coldcut
  6. Funky Drummer (Bonus Beats) – James Brown
  7. Eminence Front – The Who
  8. Return of the Pink Panther – Henry Mancini
  9. Superkato – Sinclair
  10. Fashion – David Bowie
  11. Heavy Vibes – Vince Montana Sextet
  12. To Be Free (Brother John) – K-Creative
  13. Spanish Grease (Dorfmeister Con Madrid de los Austrias Muga Reserva Remix) – Willie Bobo
  14. Good Vibes, Good Night – Ballistic Brothers vs Eccentric Afros
  15. Evil Vibrations – The Mighty Ryeders

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the-control-panel-of-vostokThe second mix is one I’ve posted before. Almost as eclectic, it’s tied together by a theme rather than a genre. Here the challenge was to mix together only records about space – a constraint that was fun to work with and made for some interesting choices: a lot of Mars references inevitably, the soundtrack to Erik von Daniken’s Chariots of The Gods, Mr Fingers underneath Gil Scott Heron, Cambridge’s own Joe 2000 in the form of RPM, among a mix of disco, techno, Moog madness, trip hop, funk, and house. Space Funk always reminds me of El Grito at Tunizzia, Space Face was one Ald and I listened to a bunch on a cassette taped off a London pirate radio station back in the day, while Outa-space I first heard amid the punk and robots at RV’s place in Corona Road.

  1. Intro
  2. 2000 – RPM
  3. Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus beats) – Paul Weller
  4. The Planet Plan – UFO
  5. Stars and Rockets – Peter Thomas
  6. E.V.A.- Jean Jacques Perrey
  7. Deep Base Nine – Atmosfear versus Idjut Boys
  8. Finding ALH84001 (Ashley Beedle Live on Mars Remix)- Outside
  9. Dancing In Outer Space (MAW Lunar Beats remix)- Atmosfear
  10. Space Face – Sub Sub
  11. Reach Up To Mars – Earth People
  12. Life On Mars – Dexter Wansel
  13. Reach Up To Mars – Earth People
  14. Space Shuttle (Deep Club Dub) – Gil Scott Heron
  15. Clear Space – Sudden Impact
  16. Space Funk – Manzel
  17. Galaxy – War
  18. Outa-space – Billy Preston

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The Ultimate Breaks & Beats kid (Part 2)

•11/17/2016 • Leave a Comment

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It’s the 30th anniversary of Ultimate Breaks & Beats (UBB). Since my last UBB tribute mix barely scratched the surface of the series, here’s a follow up, again featuring tracks that appeared on UBB and related records. As before, most are from the original records (not UBB) because they’re better pressings, but occasionally I used the UBB LP because it has a nice edit. For many tracks, I mixed two copies so I could use breaks as bridges between tracks and skip bits I don’t like. As a result, some tracks’ll seem rearranged if you know them well.

The mix starts with a theme used by the DJs throughout the movie Wild Style – not a true OG break but one put together in a studio by Chris Stein of Blondie. Next is a 12″ from Tanya Winley. Her father, Paul Winley, started the break compilations in 1979 with Super Disco Brakes. He also capitalized on the new rap phenomenon by recording his daughters, and Tanya’s rap later showed up on one of his comps. Getting It On underpinned Public Enemy’s You’re Gonna Get Yours (heard here) and Coffey later reprised it on a 45 (heard here). S.W.A.T is a classic that appeared on UBB510, and the intro was sampled by LL Cool J on I’m Bad (heard here). House of Rising Funk (UBB520) was put together by a group of studio musicians led by Charles Kynard and attributed to Afrique on the LP but The Chubakos on the 45. It’s still one of my favorite funk records, bought after tracking down that wah-wah loop from Coldcut’s Beats & Pieces (in one of these instrumental mixes), which I first heard in Wij’s car when I was about 16.

ultimate-breaks-and-beats-516A looped drum break hidden at the end of UBB517 provides a link to a Brazilian version of a James Brown classic and makes it pack more punch. The Joe Quarterman and All The people tracks appeared on UBB520 and UBB521, respectively. Funky Music Is The Thing was on UBB504, though only Part 2 was included. Jam On The Groove was on UBB514 and goes well under a James Brown track voted best dance record of all time by Soulsides – here I used two copies of the 12″ version that backed Coldcut’s Payback Mix (briefly featured in the first UBB mix) rather than UBB507. P.E.’s Bring The Noise features samples from Marva Whitney’s It’s Your Thing (UBB518), which follows it and is later sampled by DJ Format. I was lucky enough to see Marva perform here in Brooklyn before she died. At that gig she performed Think, recorded by another one of JB’s female preachers, Lyn Collins (UBB516), and sampled by the next three tracks. Sugar Bear also samples Once In A Lifetime (heard in on of these mixes). I picked up Put The Needle To The Record in DC in 1987 – probably after hearing Pump Up The Volume (featured here. It’s almost a house record and cuts up the Magic Disco Machine classic from UBB506 (heard in the earlier Mud mix) together with Prince’s Kiss, which you couldn’t escape that year. La Pregunta is a weird disco 12″ that Noddy and I initially thought was the big let down from UBB510, only later realizing that the point was just to play the break. The mix ends with Corazon, one of many great Creative Source records, which appeared on UBB522.

  1. Down By Law – Chris Stein and Fab 5 Freddy
  2. Vicious Rap – Tanya ‘Sweet T’ Winley & The Harlem Underground Band
  3. Getting It On – Dennis Coffey & The Detroit Guitar Band
  4. Theme From S.W.A.T. – Rhythm Heritage
  5. House Of Rising Funk – Afrique
  6. LL Bonus Beats
  7. Hot Pants Road – Boogaloo Combo
  8. I’m Gonna Get You – Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul
  9. Cramp Your Style – All The People
  10. Funky Music Is The Thing (Part 1) – Dynamic Corvettes
  11. Funky Music Is The Thing (Part 2) – Dynamic Corvettes
  12. Jam On The Groove – Ralph Macdonald
  13. Give It Up Or Turn It Loose – James Brown
  14. Bring The Noise (Instrumental) – Public Enemy
  15. Bring The Noise – Public Enemy
  16. It’s Your Thing – Marva Whitney
  17. Stealin’ James – DJ Format
  18. Razor Blade – Little Royal
  19. Don’t Scandalize Mine – Sugar Bear
  20. Go On Girl – Roxanne Shante
  21. It Takes Two – Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
  22. Put The Needle To The Record – Criminal Element Orchestra
  23. Shangri La – La Pregunta
  24. Corazon – Creative Source

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New Jazz Rooms mix

•09/11/2016 • Leave a Comment

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A twitter post from Russ Dewbury about the new incarnation of his classic Jazz Rooms night, now called Soulful Strut, prompted me to post another Jazz Rooms mix. McDisco, Saul and I were recently reminiscing about the days when the  line to get into that club stretched all the way down Ship Street. So since I haven’t done one of these for a while, I thought I’d post a new one as a reminder of sweaty underground nights that led some to wring out their t-shirts, others to strip off and dive into the sea at 3 am, and bucket boy to collapse in the street and refuse to move.

As always the mix is a blend of funk/jazz, latin and Brazilian music, with the odd soundtrack and library tune thrown in as well. It starts with a couple of vibe favorites of mine, before an unusual latin-tinged thing from Johnny Hammond and a nice little private press cover of O Morro Nao Tem Vez, ode to Rio’s favelas. Then there’s a track from an introduction to Brazilian music released in 1968 and a devilish mambo. Next is one specially for Wyn: a cover of the J.B.’s Hot Pants Road that might prompt him to get out those steel drums.

Up On The Hill is a track I first heard in an early Cut Chemist mixtape. Despite being a big fan of the original Planet of The Apes movie, I don’t really remember the TV series, but this Lalo Schiffrin 45 was apparently the soundtrack. It’s is followed by another great arranger, John Schroeder, who improves on a Quincy Jones soundtrack heard in an earlier Jazz Rooms mix. Ike Turner’s driving drum break I first heard sampled on Kid Koala’s debut 10″.

There’s a bit of a change of direction with crazy Brazilian psych outfit Sarro. Meanwhile, Ed Lincoln’s keyboard mashing was a big Heavy Usker favorite if I remember rightly. It wouldn’t be a Jazz Rooms mix without some KPM: here it’s Syd Dale who provides it. Groove Holmes contributes a big band version of Julie Driscoll & Brian Auger’s Isola Natale. Next is an untitled enigma that’s reminiscent of Isola Natale; it showed up an old Pure compilation and I’ve never been able to track down its origins (anyone who did, please let me know!). France’s answer to Alan Hawkshaw then gives us a nice B3 track, before the mix ends with a crazy psych version of Hawkshaw and Parker’s KPM classic Move Move Move that Alan Parker released as Ugly Custard.

  1. Soulful Rebel – Johnny Lytle
  2. Yaina – Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers
  3. Black Feeling – Johnny ‘Hammond’ Smith
  4. Favela (Somewhere In The Hills) – Papaya
  5. Candomble – Mario Castro Neves & Samba S.A.
  6. Mambo Diablo – Machito, Loco and Puente
  7. Hot Pants Road – East Side Symphony
  8. Up On The Hill – Monk Higgins & The Special Ties
  9. Ape Shuffle – Lalo Schiffrin
  10. Money Runner – John Schroeder
  11. Funky Mule – Ike Turner & The Kings Of Rhythm
  12. Sarro – Wilson Das Neves
  13. Cochise – Ed Lincoln
  14. Three Bears – Syd Dale
  15. Isole Natale – Richard Groove Home’s
  16. Untitled – The Quartet
  17. Peggy Britt’s Party – Jean-Claude Petit Et Son Orchestre
  18. Custard’s Last Stand – Ugly Custard

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The Ultimate Breaks & Beats Kid

•08/13/2016 • 1 Comment

R-176822-1455589525-2703.jpegUltimate Breaks & Beats (UBB)  were a bunch of compilation LPs put out by Louis Flores and Lenny Roberts on Streetbeat Records in The Bronx in the mid-late 1980s. The aim was to keep alive the esoteric soul, funk, rock, pop, and disco tracks that hip hop DJs juggled in the 70’s, with their critical ingredient the ‘get down’ parts that came to be called ‘breaks’. UBB fast became essential staples not only for DJs but also producers, fueling the sampling revolution and setting the course of dance music. While you might never have seen an UBB LP yourself, you’ll have heard loads of tunes that sample them. For producers, they were literally a library of breaks and beats to recombine. For DJs they were a way to get tunes that were often very hard to find, let alone secure two copies of (as Louis Flores says, “Real DJs has doubles”). For kids like me, they just meant I could get eight amazing tunes whose originals might each cost $100+ for less than $10.

I first came across UBB in 1987, picking up copies from a dingy record store in Praed St. Although I’d been aware of sampling in the hip hop I was buying, I hadn’t quite realized how ubiquitous it was (since many earlier tunes used house bands and drum programming). But it began to dawn on me that almost every sound I was hearing – from the crazy synthesizer in Public Enemy No. 1 to the eery loop driving Original Concept’s Can You Feel It – came from an older record, usually one on UBB. I kept buying the LPs not because I wanted to sample them but because the tunes were amazing. Blow Your Head (UBB 514) and It’s Great to Be Here (UBB 510) were just the start, and for a while, Noddy, the other guy I knew who was into records, called me the Ultimate Breaks & Beats Kid.

The mix below is a UBB tribute, in some ways a prequel to my Mud Club-era mixes. Many of the tracks I would have included are in earlier mixes, but there are plenty to choose from, and I included a few UBB-related tracks. Most are taken from the original records because the UBB pressings and sound quality aren’t always great, but in a couple of cases I used the UBB version because Louis Flores had edited or re-EQ’d it. In a few cases, it’s only the original I own now because a few people ‘borrowed’ UBB LPs years ago (looking at you, Bobby Champagne).

R-179513-1376787473-8112.jpegThe mix starts with the intro from Jimmy Castor’s Troglodyte, which is spliced to It’s Just Begun (heard here) on UBB 518. After Isaac Hayes played at the wrong speed, there’s that Jackson 5 tune used by Original Concept. A J.B’s break is a link to one of my favorite breaks, Sister Sanctified (UBB 514) – the UBB version since Flores helpfully looped this. A sample of The Champ (UBB 512) by Kurtis Mantronik shows how this was often used. Funky President comes next. Choosing between the 45, LP, UBB 510, and an Urban 12″, I went for the 12″ as the pressing is loudest. Kid’n’Play save me having to repeat Ain’t We Funkin’ Now and Last Night Changed It All (also UBB 510) from earlier mixes, also sampling Theme From The Planets (UBB 510). Then Public Enemy contribute one of the most sample-heavy tracks you’ll ever hear, and consequently something we’re unlikely to hear again. The track is based around The Grunt (UBB 522), which I mixed in (I used the new These Are The J.B.’s LP discovery rather than my old scratchy 7″ here). PE also sample ESG’s UFO (UBB 509) and Soul Power. So rather than Soul Pride (UBB 521), Soul Power takes us to Lyn Collins (UBB 516) via Coldcut’s classic JB mix.

KC & The Sunshine Band’s I Get Lifted was on UBB 519. But since they’re best without KC I put in their version of the African Music Machine classic instead. The Uncle Louie track is from UBB 506. Then instead of Impeach The President by The Honeydrippers (UBB 511) we get the Enjoy backing band playing the same riff for an early rap record. Motown Funk Brother Dennis Coffey contributed two tracks to UBB; Son of Scorpio’s was on UBB 506. From Dave Matthews’ Dune LP, confusingly there’s a Star Wars cover (UBB 515), and the sci-fi theme continues with 2001 (UBB 506). Jeff Beck-produced rock band UPP (one where I used the UBB version, UBB 503, because there’s less guitar) provide a bridge to Tom Scott. Sneakin’ In the Back (UBB 524) was sampled by everyone one from Massive Attack to our own Love Lee – funnily enough in that instance it wasn’t UBB 524 he used but my own copy of Tom Scott & The La Express!

  1. Troglodyte (intro) – The Jimmy Castor Bunch
  2. Ike’s Mood – Isaac Hayes
  3. It’s Great To Be Here – The Jackson 5
  4. (It’s Not The Express) It’s The J.B.’s Monaurail – The J.B.’s
  5. Sister Sanctified – Stanley Turrentine with Milt Jackson
  6. Fresh Is The Word – Mantronix
  7. Funky President – James Brown
  8. Last Night (Instrumental) – Kid’n’Play
  9. Night Of The Living Bassheads – Public Enemy
  10. The Grunt – The J.B.’s
  11. Soul Power (Part 1) – James Brown
  12. Soul Power (Part 2) – James Brown
  13. The Payback Mix – James Brown
  14. Think (About It) – Lyn Collins
  15. Blackwater Gold – The Sunshine Band
  16. I Like Funky Music – Uncle Louie
  17. A New Rap Language – The Treacherous 3 and Spoonie G.
  18. Son Of Scorpio – Dennis Coffey and The Detroit Guitar Band
  19. Star Wars – Dave Matthews
  20. Also Sprach Zarathrustra (2001) – Cecil Holmes Soulful Sounds
  21. Give It To You – UPP
  22. Sneakin’ In the Back – Tom Scott

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Escola Do Brasil

•06/12/2016 • 2 Comments

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I don’t know when I first came across Brazilian music (probably Astrud Gilberto on the radio or a samba school accompanying Socrates and Zico on TV), but the first time I heard it on a dance floor would have been around 1990 at Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge’s legendary Dingwalls Sunday afternoon sessions in Camden – amid the jazz, soul, and hip hop. Meanwhile, the odd batucada or bossa track piqued my interest on compilations like the Jazz Juice and Totally Wired series, and I soon realized that the older jazz-funk scene had a long history of playing sambas. As the decade went on, Brazilian music became more mainstream, as a Brazilian love affair with Ronaldo, Denilson and Roberto meant Tamba Trio’s version of the Sergio Mendes classic showed up in a Nike advert, bossa rhythms increasingly showed up in nu jazz and house records, and popular artists like Basement Jaxx sampled tracks such as Samba De Flora (soon to appear in another mix).

Most of the Brazilian records I heard early on were courtesy of El Grito, Rob and Neil at the Tun-izzia sessions at the Devonshire Arms and the Cambridge incarnation of World Peace Soul Jazz, two nights whose defining feature was typically the presence of more DJs than punters. Cambridge’s number one latin combo, Boca Loca (El Grito on Wurlitzer and vocals, the Turk on drums, and Mr George on cuica), drew bigger crowds and covered some of these tracks, as well as playing self-penned gems like Bossa For Now. Cambridge School of Samba (bandleader El Grito) proved less popular despite a strong supporting performance at the latin-flavored Summer Madness night at The Junction (this led Chris to conclude the word “latin” was a kiss of death for any DJ night).

122027-aMy earlier Jazz Rooms mixes have often featured Brazilian tunes, but I wanted to do a Brazil-only one to remind me of the Cambridge nights. The mix below starts with a prequel to Encontros by the sadly departed Gato Barbieri. It wouldn’t be a Brazilian mix without a batucada, so a tempo-changing Bob Azzam provides one (a big Russ Dewbury favorite). After a cover of Joao Bosco’s O Ronco Da Cuica and an inevitable Sergio Mendes track, Bosco himself makes an appearance. Sivuca contributes a great version of the Bill Withers classic from his Live at the Village Gate LP. The studio version, which appeared on a different LP and also got a 12″ re-release, was a big hit on Granchester Meadow at an earlier Summer Madness party we held in ’93. The London crew travelled up for the fiesta and, if I remember rightly, an out-of-it Tony appeared sporting giant mirror sunglasses to show his ex-girlfriend exactly what she was missing, before stumbling off to the river to be sick (my own shades apparently led TK Pussy to conclude she’d be sharing a house with a narcissist..)

The holiday atmosphere continues with a track from Astrud Gilberto’s Holiday ’69 LP (first heard when Ethan came up from Soul Jazz and played at King’s). After Musica Popular Brasileira, there are a back-to-back versions of Edu Lobo’s Upa Neghuino – a nod to GP, who would often play Luis Arruda Paez’s orchestral version after Lobo’s. Then a couple of tunes showcase how Brazilian music was adopted to the north and over in Europe: James Brown’s favorite lounge trio cover Marcos Valle’s Os Grilos and Roy Budd of Get Carter fame reminds Sean he needn’t go all the way to Ipanema Beach. A few more follow, including Marcos himself, and the mix ends with Os Devaneios, which Jankster and I first heard in Bolivia not Brazil, courtesy of Avolta! radio.

  1. To Be Continued – Gato Barbieri
  2. Batucada Por Favor – Bob Azzam
  3. Ronco Da Cuica – Viva Brasil
  4. Casa Forte – Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66
  5. Escadas Da Penha – Joao Bosco
  6. Fio Maravilha – Tania Maria
  7. Ain’t No Sunshine (Live) – Sivuca
  8. Beginnings – Astrud Gilberto
  9. Vera Cruz – MPB4
  10. Upa Neguinho – Elis Regina
  11. Upa Neguinho – Doc Severinson & Strings
  12. Crickets Sing For Anamaria – The Dee Felice Trio
  13. The Girl From Southend On Sea – Roy Budd
  14. Misturada – Quarteto Novo
  15. Proton, Electron, Neutron – Marcos Valle
  16. Ossain – Antonio Carlos & Jocafi
  17. Embalo Differente – Os Devaneios

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Block Party Jams

•03/01/2016 • Leave a Comment

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I’ve just finished re-reading Ed Piskor’s graphic history of hip hop, which paints a brilliant picture of the DJs, rappers, and other characters who gave birth to hip hop in the early 70’s. It’s a nice reminder that, as I’ve said before, it was all about the DJ before it was all about the rappers, and there are some great stories in the book about the block party DJs from The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens who started the whole thing. Reading it again inspired me to throw together a couple of party jams using a bunch of records I’d always wanted to put into a mix.

The first is mainly stuff from the 70’s and early 80’s. It kicks off with a couple of classics that’ll sound familiar: Space Age was sampled in a house record that was the soundtrack to every imagined TV ‘club scene’ for a time, while in Dancing Machine of course, Michael Jackson showed everyone the robot. Next is some great early rap from the days before sampling; then EU use Go-Go to fire up Sugar Ray Leonard. After that it’s back home with Brooklyn Trucking, a couple of great disco/boogie tracks, and Funky 4+1’s first outing before That’s The Joint (heard here). Kurtis Blow’s yuletide rap was the first many people heard, selling half a million copies. But rewinding a few years, The Last Poets, backed by Kool & The Gang, contribute Sport, a cautionary tale from 1973 of a misspent youth in 1959 that might be the first real rap record. The tale was reprised by Melle Mel ten years later, who substituted ’79 for ’59. The mix ends with some lesser known Go-Go specially for Jon-boy. Just before that is a brilliant live Prince track from his peach’n’black period that we played over and over in that house in Westbourne Park while downing ‘lizard drink’. Come to think of it, the Shock sound system on Westbourne Park Road during carnival was probably pretty similar to those Bronx jams.

  1. Space Age – The Jimmy Castor Bunch
  2. Dancing Machine – The Jackson 5
  3. Willie Rap – Willie Wood and Willie Wood Crew
  4. Knock Him Out Sugar Ray – Experience Unlimited
  5. Do It (Till You’re Satisfied) – B. T. Express
  6. Get On Up (Get On Down) – Roundtree
  7. Give It To Me (If You Don’t Mind) – Conquest
  8. Rappin’ and Rockin’ The House – Funky Four Plus One More
  9. Christmas Rap – Kurtis Blow
  10. Hustler’s Convention – Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five
  11. Sport – Lightning Rod
  12. It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night – Prince
  13. Bop Gun – Redds and The Boys

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Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.48.33 AMThe next mix focuses more on the 80’s and 90’s and moves further afield. It starts with a rare Cut Killer jam echoing NWA that you might have seen in the French movie La Haine. After a 45 King loop (another one Crawford hipped me to), we get some Japanese rapping you might recognize from the instrumental version that Mo’ Wax later re-released (heard in this mix). Then there’s a Lower Eastside-inspired jam from Ashley Beedle et al. that reminds me of a crazy summer Sean and I spent sleeping on the floor with about five others in Rivington St. Next MAW sample Gwen McCrae’s Funky Sensation (first heard while crashed at another home for waifs and strays a few years later: Mr Lee‘s place in Hoxton). Some later 80s/early 90s hip hop follows, and finally it’s back to the old school with a Jimmy Spicer track that was the basis for Bomb The Bass’s Megablast, classic Sugar Hill and Enjoy tracks, and a Grace Jones dub thrown in for good measure.

  1. Instrumental (La Haine) – Cut Killer
  2. Funk Box – The 45 King
  3. Koi No Formula – Takagi Kan
  4. Next Stop Delancey Street – The Ballistic Brothers
  5. Get Up – Masters At Work
  6. Fakin’ The Funk – Main Source
  7. Check The Rhime – A Tribe Called Quest
  8. Streets Of New York (instrumental) – Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
  9. Let Me Ride (Extended version) – Dr Dre
  10. Money (instrumental) – Jimmy Spicer
  11. Feel The Heartbeat – The Treacherous Three
  12. Pull Up To The Bumper (remix) – Grace Jones
  13. Monster Jam – Spoonie Gee meets The Sequence
  14. At The Party – The Treacherous Three

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