Monday, 30 March 2015

De La Soul's New Album

 Now this is different. Very different.

De La Soul haven't had a studio album out in 11 years. They are in the process of putting their next one out and we, the fans, are being counted on to make this happen.

Are you aware of Kickstarter? It is a global crowdfunding platform and those "who back Kickstarter projects are offered tangible rewards and one of a kind experiences in exchange for their pledges".
In the case of the De La album these rewards can be anything from a $5 offering which gives you an email from the group extending their thanks right up to going into the studio, listening to the album and recording a skit to be included for a princely sum of $7500.

Not only that but this is where it gets even more interesting. Over the past three years the crew have been recording a host of talented musicians jamming in a studio and have amassed over 200+ hours of music. From this they intend to sample whatever they like and this will be the basis of their album.
It's genius. It means they are free to use whatever they like without being reprimanded - just like the days of 3 Feet High And Rising!

"Sampling is basically copying a piece of sound, from one recording, and reusing it to create a new recording. It is how De La has always made music. The sampler is our instrument, but people who copy, and in this case "sample," have also been considered thieves and unoriginal. So, unfortunately a huge part of our career has also been spent fighting off the “sample police.”
Enough of those battles! For the new album, we needed a completely new approach, something Hip-Hop hasn’t done before. So, here it is: For the first time, we're going to sample ourselves. 

Here’s the interesting part. We are now in the process of going back to that 200+ hours of music, listening, enjoying and discovering those special moments where, musically, something magical happens, where interesting sounds and layers were forgotten, where new sounds can be sampled, looped, chopped, filtered and arranged, freely, without the intrusive presence of publishing politics and the infamous “sample police.” What we've done is created our own crates of records; album upon albums to mine and sample from."

For full info and your chance to be part of the project visit this link:

Friday, 27 March 2015

ABU March 2015 Podcast - DOWNLOAD

Here's this month's ABU show.
I decided to try something different and uploaded it as a stream so you just have to press play and listen to it as is.

Also available as a download here:

I'm fricking spoiling ya!


ABU #49 March 2015
The 'Check This Killer Podcast' Edition

01  Bernard Herrmann - I Work The Whole City (1976)
02  Main Source - Fakin The Funk (Remix) (1992)
03  Queen Latifah - Evil That Men Do (1989)
04  Hijack - Airwave Hijack (Part 1) (1991)
05  Coldcut - Theme  From Reportage (1989)
06  Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff (1987)
07  Junkyard Band - The Word (1986)
08  Trouble Funk - Pump Me Up (1980)
09  Kurtis Blow - Party Time (The Repo Edit) (1985)
10  LL Cool J - Rock The Bells (1985)
11  Tough Crowd - Manners (2015)
12  Eminem - My Name Is (1999)
13  Johnny Dynell - Jam Hot (1983)
14  BDP - Questions & Answers (Pal Joey Remix) (1992)
15  Motion Man - Mo Like Flows On (1993)
16  Special Ed - Come On Let's Move It (1990)

The Funk Trunk
17  Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - The Bottle
18  Marvin Gaye - 'T' Plays It Cool (Unedited Version) (1972)

19  Exactshit/Hexstatic - Wild Style

Groove Electro Chart March 1985 Top 10
20  Jazzy Jay - Def Jam (1985)
21  Unknown DJ - 808 Beats (Club) (1984)
22  Itchiban Scratch (Version 1) (1984)

23  Drake - Know Yourself (2015)
24  Chrome and Illinspired - All Days (2015)

Roots Of The Roots
25  Sparks - The Number One Song In Heaven (1979)

26  Harold Faltermeyer - Fletch Theme (1985)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

ABU Record Label!

Well, not really.

You can now download the ABU albums from Bandcamp for free. This will also be where future albums will now appear.
It's clean (virus-free), professional-looking and all centralised which gets a big thumbs-up from me. The sound quality of the songs should also sound better, too.

Click here to view the page:

A big shout to RYAN over at Old To The New – Ryan Proctor’s Beats, Rhymes & Hip-Hop Nostalgia blog who mentioned the second album yesterday.

ABU Records....hmmm, does have a nice ring to it though.....

Here's ABU Volume 2:

And Volume 1:

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

ABU Podcast #49 March 2015

This Thursday 9pm-11pm it's the ABU March Podcast.

Back to the full-fat 2 hours.

Get the live stream at:
Get in the chatroom at:

DJ Shan Frenzie's Zulu Beat Throw Down Mix

First of all, just have a look at this cover.
Without even hearing the audio you just KNOW that this is going to be good.

A special mix from Australia courtesy of DJ SHAN FRENZIE produced to coincide with the recent DJ Shadow/Cut Chemist Renegades Of Funk tour in which Bambaataa's original records (yes, his own personal records) were used.

Get on this and give your ears a treat.


Monday, 23 March 2015

Ultimate Breaks & Beats: An Oral History.

This is an interesting read about the history of the legendary Ultimate Breaks & Beats series of albums with input from Lou Flores, Lenny 'Breakbeat Lenny' Roberts, Large Professor and others.
Complete with the story behind the iconic cover art as well as a rundown of the top 10 Most-Sampled breaks in history.
Not to be missed!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

No Half Steppin' - March 2015

It's almost time for this month's No Half Steppin' jam in the official home of hip hop in Norwich - The Rumsey Wells pub.
I'm spinning alongside DJ Just-1 and Chrome on the wheels of steel this coming Saturday (21st March). Ill Bill on the mic (or headphones if he's forgotten his mic) keeping things flowing.
Expect cracking hip hop, fine funk and of course, some eclectric electro.

Free entry as always. Door open at 8pm.
Actually they're open pretty much all day but there won't be any turntables with that hippity-hoppity stuff until later.

Splendid and tremendous.
See you there.

General Reepazoid.

Record Review: Tough Crowd - Manners (SWREC002)

Style Warrior is back again and leaving the shirts on the shelf for a moment while the spotlight shines on their second vinyl release.
Taking a brave departure from the current sea of UK hip hop singles which continue to make up this welcome Golden Age that we are blissfully experiencing, Style Warrior present us with a different sound.
Ardent 'Britcore' enthusiasts may be left in a confused daze while critics of 'live hip hop' will be up in arms. Both camps however should leave their cranky-pants at the door and slip into a velour lounge suit instead because easy-listening is the dominant sound found on Tough Crowd's debut wax offering.

Consisting of artists playing real instruments, the TC lineup is; Luke Wynter twinkling keyboards, Colin Sutton pounding double bass, Andy Illingworth twanging his guitar, Ben Wilson pounding skins and David Hogan providing saxophone.
Completing the band are the two MCs, Exp & JND who effortlessly sail over the tight groove in crisp, clear Leeds vocals.

This is certainly a different sound to what I have been used to hearing and melds two genres that I personally am rather fond of; jazz-funk and hip hop. Imagine if Bob James had employed the services of a couple of linguistically-bountiful street kids from the Bronx during one of his seminal 1970s albums then you'd be in the right area.

Previous parpage

Martin has long been a huge fan of the laid-back, funky, Rhodes, jazzy groove as listeners to his occasional audio mixes for Disco Scratch Radio or Very Good Plus will attest to. This is then a natural progression in the musical game plan of Style Warrior which is renowned for it's clever leftfield subtlety. The whole package is one of remarkable coolness especially the sleeve design - which continues the same uniformity of SWREC001 - which conveys the title track in an understated blue hue, rigid record cover and full colour production. As before an inlay sheet is included with the single that features doodles, drafts and sketches along with a backstory of the record's release. A nice touch.

As you might now expect, the songs are equally as understated and relaxed which might fill the heart of the more short-sighted listener with unease as this is not your usual hip hop fare.
The title track ("Manners") could almost be the Style Warrior theme. The subject matter is so quintessentially British which is actually the core of SW; UK and proud with quaint quirkiness.
Not wishing to exclude international listeners, the topic of bad manners is universal, however the examples spoken in the track are wholly from a British angle - from someone bumping into you on the street ("pavement etiquette") and you apologising to them or remaining quiet when witnessing someone cutting in line. My favourite is JND's story of booking a train ticket to find someone already in his seat refusing to move and then when "grassing" to the conductor then proceeds to feel self-conscious from the glares of his fellow commuters ("embarrassed by the situation I can feel their eyes scold") as if it's his own fault for not complying to the norm.
It's all delightfully relatable stuff spoken over a smooth backing (somehow reminiscent of Eminem's My Name Is, I thought) which allows the vocals be heard clearly and concisely.

The flip is Forget Yesterday which speaks on the terrible ills of a media-centric society as well as leaving time-wasting individuals behind who shouldn't even feature on your radar. The inclusion of printed lyrics on the rear sleeve enables you (or me at least because I'm a very visual guy) to read along even without the song and realise how complex and real the words are. JND's verse is magnificent and beautifully illustrative; "I see you laughing at my vision, fool / though the place I'm tryna get to is a mission, where there isn't you / I wouldn't even let you visit either / think I'm playing games you'd better stick to FIFA / cos I'm in a different league to anyone".

As I mentioned before there is a Northern style displayed here which doesn't curtail it's localness for a US - or even countrywide - audience and proudly displays it's colloquialisms ("escapism in bags int summat I've craved"). This is home-grown hip hop with knobs on.

It is by no fluke that this second release on Style Warrior is very much reminiscent of the early 90s Acid Jazz scene being that honcho Martin is a big fan of this genre. It is certainly a departure from the usual sound you'd expect to hear but I would encourage you to add this positive, delicately-woven 45rpm to your collection because you will be richly rewarded by the sound of this late night hype upon repeated listens.

Small and beautifully-formed
Sadly stocks are limited to just 250 copies so speed is what you need. Click on the link below to order.

And how about this....all orders of the new 7" come with free downloads of the 2 tracks, plus instrumentals, remixes and bonus beats... That's 9 tracks in total.

And.....if that isn't enough then the first 100 Tough Crowd orders will be entered into a prize draw to win a Test Pressing PLUS the last SWREC001 MC Alikazam Test Pressing PLUS the hand written lyrics as seen on the reverse of the SWREC001 sleeve!

Click here to purchase your copy of the 7" vinyl

Style Warrior Website

Join the Style Warrior Facebook Page

Previous MC Alikazam record review on ABU

How To Get a Hip Hop Loving Dad to Dance

I was recently asked by Dan from the Don't Believe The Hype blog if I would like to write a short piece about what older hip hop-loving dads dance to.

Check out my ten choices and see if they seem relatable to you.

Read it here:

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Jorun Bombay Presents Funkbox Reload - March 2015 Edition

Check this.......

Currently tearing up some niche corners of the internetz is this fantastic latest offering of supa-producer Jorun Bombay's Funkbox Reload.
This edition is of particular interest to all you ABU-ers as the music in this one focuses on the years 1983 to 1985.
With Jorun on the mic himself talking occasionally over the beats is his right-hand man Flexxman who helps to hype up the set. And anyone who knows Jorun will be happy to hear that his own spin on the tracks is in evidence with extended versions and great edits all in the mix.

Clocking in at just 60 minutes this will help you drift away into beatbox heaven. 

"All the way live from Voyager 1 in deep interstellar space - DJ Jorun Bombay & Co-Host Flexxman bring you the best of 80's hip hop mixed and cut up the way it was done back in the days.
This is NOT a "mixtape" - THIS IS A RADIO PODCAST SHOW. Turn it up loud while you're cruising in your Volkswagen Rabbit with the fuzzy dice hanging off your mirror."

Tracklist :

Boogie Boys - You Ain't Fresh
LL Cool J - Dangerous
Fat Boys - Fat Boys Scratch
Hassan & 7-11 - Cold Rock Stuff
Run-DMC - Rock Box
Lovebug Starski - Live At The Fever
Natasha King - AM FM
Captain Rock - The Pure
Captain Rock - Cosmic Blast
Mantronix - Jammin' to the Groove
Mantronix - Needle to the groove (Jorun Bombay's Vocal Dropout edit)
B Boys - Girls Pt 1
B Boys - Girls Pt 2
T La Rock & Jazzy Jay - It's Yours (Jorun Bombay's "Daisy Lady" edit)
Lil Jazzy Jay & Cool Supreme B-Boys Style
Pretty Ricky & Boo Ski - It's Mine (Instrumental)
Run-DMC - Daryll & Joe
Dimples D - Sucker DJ's (Jorun Bombay Remix)

Direct link:

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