Apr 29, 2013
"...try to re-educate ones who are lost."
Crazy month. Had to make sure to get a Boston track into the selection, and that's not even counting the Gang Starr track, with Guru - a native Boston MC - kicking classic lyrics. Just over an hour long, but it took me more than twice that to write all the show notes and find the links...
Thanks to everyone who came down to the Example photo exhibition this month! If you'd like to buy yourself one of my prints, follow this link and get at me :)
O.C. : It's Only Right
Buried deep in the "Jewelz" album is this low-profile gem - pun only partially intended! It's all about that bassline, taken from a classic funk album (my copy was grabbed from my parents' collection) then slowed down to match those nice Beatminerz drums for something that sounds like it's straight from a park jam - and OC gets on the mic and does it justice!
Pro P : Friday Freestyle
Going local for the first instrumental bed of the month - Pro P is a Manchester beatmaker who has been getting very busy with a series of beat tapes as well as handling production for guys like Cheech (Old Man Reefer) of the Mothership Connection. Keep an eye out for this man.
Gang Starr : 2 Deep (City Lick Mix)
RIP Guru! I can still remember buying the "2 Deep" 12" when it first came out at Crash Records in Leeds (still there). At the time, I really didn't like this remix and hadn't heard it for about 20 years but dusted it off and found my tastes had matured enough to enjoy it :) The original track is of course from Gang Starr's third album, "Daily Operation" - that should have a home in any head's record box. The remix is courtesy of the UK's Dodge City Productions (IG Culture and DJ Dodge), who were performing as a group in the early 90s as well as getting busy in the production/remix arena. I think I may have something of theirs tucked away on cassette, so that may come out one month! They're working separately these days but still very much respected in their field, so don't be surprised to see their names in credits!
Panacea (ft. Green of The Five One) : Revolution World Crazy
Washington DC in the house! Capital business on this cut from the US capital :) Raw Poetic on the mic and K-Murdock on production make up Panacea, and Mr Murdock kindly passed me a copy of the "12 Step Program" album this month while on a visit to Manchester! I hear there's something new in the pipeline, so will definitely be checking for that. Raw and Green push their way to the fore on this one, which is in competition for the loudest track of the episode - and that's not because I was turning it up!
Slum Village : Reppin'
Chatting to Lee Majors of More Bounce (who are bringing SV to Manchester) the other day, I remarked that with all the lineup changes over the years, Slum Village is almost more of an idea, a spirit, than a group. Always representing Detroit and the lineage of J Dilla, this track from the "The Dirty Slums" mixtape with Mick Boogie is manned by the line up of original member T3, Illa J (brother of Dilla), and Young RJ. Unmistakeable Detroit sound here, drums and bass coming together beautifully - the surprise for me is the little guitar-led changeup at the hook though, bit of a change of pace!
Special Teamz : Get Down
A little something out of Boston! Special Teamz is made up of Edo G, Slaine, and Jaysaun, all big names out of the city, with Edo G probably being the most familiar to the average fan, having been in the game since 1991! From their 2007 "Stereotypez" album we get this rugged opening cut where they all set their stalls out, with Young Cee on production and Jayceeoh on the turntables. No frills, just Hip-Hop. The album is worth checking if you come across it, but is more solid than spectacular - do check for their respective solo records though!
DV Alias Khrist : New Testiment Of Soul (sic) (Instrumental)
Did anyone ever, ever call him just "Khrist?" I suspect not. DV was on a kind of half-singing, half-rapping flex in the 90s and had a number of 12"s but never really broke out big. He did co-produce this beat though (with Mr.B), a B-side to "The Attack Is On" which you may know if you're really into your 90s!
Brand New Heavies : Stay This Way (Slam Mix)
Love this tune and I feel like it's a good time to play it :D The beautifully soulful original was on the Heavies' first album, but you can find this harder remix on the first "Elephantitis" remix collection - which I highly recommend. I'm coming back to that one in the future to play another cut or two, please believe it...
Ultramagnetic MCs : Chorus Line, Pt. 2
Bronx! Great B-side track from the Ultras, on the flip of "Make It Happen" and of course the sequel to the original "Chorus Line" - I've chopped off the closing verse by TR Love here but that's simply to make the mix work...seek out the whole track to hear the conclusion! This track does have some elements of the original, but has big beat changeups for every MC - when it wasn't a common thing to hear at all. A lot harder to do when you're recording to reels of tape than on a PC!
Fluke : Atom Bomb
I'd be lying if I said I knew anything about Fluke outside of this track! Ok, I know they're British, but that's about all. I'm going to give you this link which will give you the lowdown - I recognise my limitations :) I know about this tune from the "Wipeout 2097" soundtrack which is a great compilation of electronic music (though I will never get Underworld. Oh, how I have tried).
Sway : Flo Fashion
No, not the MTV guy. This Sway is a Ghanaian-British MC who came up really grinding hard, producing his own stuff and releasing it independently, coming right up to All City releasing his first full album "This Is My Demo," which included this track. Definitely one of my favourites from the LP, he shows his characteristic humour on this story of living large on the never-never. Remember to pay your bills folks!
Fun-da-mental : Dog Tribe (Instrumental Primitive Mix)
Just dug this one out and dusted it off, I'd be surprised if it had been on my turntables in the last decade! It just kind of fit the tempo I needed for the blend - sometimes it's just like that :)
Mr. Mike : G's Perspective
Nothin' but the gangsta. Remember a time before No Limit and Cash Money got big? If you do, you may well remember Suave House, home of the group South Circle amongst others. I know I remember them from all the ads in "The Source" :) Anyway, South Circle (Mr. Mike & Thorough) were out of Houston way before it was a hotspot in the wider Hip-Hop consciousness, and dripping with that Southern funk flavour. On this tune from his solo "Wicked Wayz" LP, Mike gives you unrelenting street lyrics over a killer E-A-Ski & CMT production. Check how the heavy piano works as the bass on here, with wah-wah and keyboard just providing the seasoning. G indeed.
PRO ERA : Run Or Fly
I mentioned this track in the show notes a few months ago as my favourite on the "Peep: The aPROcalypse" mixtape/album - love the slightly off-centre feel and the voice sampling from Sacramento's Lee Bannon. The Nougold guys have told me more than one about the flavour coming from California's capital and they aren't wrong! On the mic we have Joey Bada$$ (whose profile seems to grow by the day), Dirty Sanchez, CJ Fly, and the late Capital STEEZ - swaggering all over the track. Nice to hear younger guys embracing something of the older sound but then bringing their own slant on it!
Sir Michael Rocks : New Dress
Dug this one out while flicking through various mixtape downloads I hadn't stuck on my iPod yet - pleasanly surprised to find it! Rocks is 50% of The Cool Kids and this is one of a collection of tracks left over from the "Premier Politics" mixtape - put together into a "Premier Politics 1.5" release. Might be a bit soft for some, but that beat just drew me in...
Oceanlab : I Am Who I Am
I can't totally remember how I found this one - might have heard it on internet radio somewhere. Thought it was great, so decided to search out more! I was probably a little wrong describing the rest of the "Sirens Of The Sea" album as not really being downtempo - it has it's share - but this track is still a clear standout to my ears. Amazingly for a group formed in 2000, they only released that album, their first, in 2008! Still, the wait probably gave them the time to really craft their sound, and this tune shows their polish, with the vocals gliding over some low-key drums and a synth-constructed track. Lyrically it sounds like one lover talking to another in frustration...you'd think that if you were with someone, you'd like them as they were without trying to change them...
The Underdog : From Beyond
Just a little something from an instrumental collection ("Attic Tapes, Vol. 2") by the UK's Underdog, probably best known for his work with The Brotherhood. A low key track to nod your head to!
Don Blackman : Holding You, Loving You
Soul classic! The only way to really pay tribute to the life of Don Blackman was to play this track. It's a love tape staple, and has been sampled a good few times to great effect - it's just gorgeous. The clear standout from his self-titled album - the only solo release of his career. Rest in peace!
Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!