Wednesday, December 31, 2008

5150: ILLEGALLY INSANE IN THE BAY, MAYNE

I first started making visits out to the North Bay in 1993 after meeting a few writers who lived there. Everyone up there was heavy into the Vallejo sound that was coming out. Heads were bitter over 2Pac's involvement in a 1992 Marin City shooting that left a 6 year old boy dead so Pac got no play. And then you had Hiero coming out big and it seemed like a crossroads for a lot of kids. Do you stay pure and only rock the real, mob style Bay Rap? Or do you get down with this new less threatening sound? One thing everyone seemed to have in common in that neighborhood was the pride in their hometown heroes, 5150. I got a dub and eventually copped the tape. I didn't even know there was a vinyl version of any of these tracks until I stumbled upon this copy a few months back while digging in Santa Rosa.
"Dorothy" is the smooth, club track while "Games People Play" is a soulful, phoned-in-from-county reflection on the trials and tribulations of the dope game. But like most 12"'s, it's all about the B side. Cruising on an ominous bassline that sounds like it was lifted from a rejected Paris beat, "Back on Track" gets hyped with it's hook rippin' Ice-T, KRS and Ice Cube samples. Peep the dope piano solos! Whatever happened to that style? "Illegally Insane" is on some proto-hyphy shit with it's Bomb Squad on that dankweed production. Producer Klark Gable hooked up the boards nice but doesn't seem to be listed anywhere as doing anything post 5150. The group did reunite for 2002's "Back from the Asylum" album but I've never heard it. You could probably buy it with the money you're saving from finding these tracks here instead of buying the 12" off this guy. Speaking of Discogs, apparently this is 5150's second record. Anyone got a copy of that Con Artist 12"? I gotta hear "The Vigilante (Mind Over Matter) (Shit Hittin' The Fan Mix)"! 5150 (Illegally Insane) - Games People Play EP (Arrogant Records, 1992)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

IDRIS MUHAMMAD MEETS KRAZEE KALI STYLEZ

Drummer Idris Muhammad (aka Leo Morris) is probably best known to beatheads for his concoction of one of the illest breaks of all time, Bob James' "Nautilus". That and his contribution (along with fellow beat king Bernard "Pretty" Purdie) to Galt MacDermot's HAIR soundtrack. "There were certain guys who couldn't pick up on what I was into. And there were certain ones who did. The ones who did, I used - like Billy [Butler] and Idris." If you're a drum minded cat, flipping a sleeve over and spotting Idris' name typically results in that record coming home with you. When you start digging beats, you cut your teeth on CTI and Kudu releases and Idris slowly becomes and old friend who'll always drive you home when you've done a little too much. His 1974 debut Kudu release as leader, "Power of Soul", contains the epic "Loran's Dance" which while it has been sampled by the likes of DJ Shadow, Beastie Boys, Fatboy Slim(e), etc. ain't no drop the needle for 4 bars and jet track. In all it's glorious 10+ minutes, "Loran's Dance" is basically a live band playing a hip hop instrumental. Before Breakestra, before white dudes with dreads wanted to rap over a live band and before The Roots put that ridiculous notion into their heads, Idris was laying down the sound that would eventually be ringing in producers like Primo's ears at D&D in 95 (check Group Home's "Inna City Life").

Loran's Dance (Kudu, 1974)

Here are two 90's tracks from the Bay Area that both draw their
source material from "Loran's Dance":

First up is Various Blends with the title track to their 2nd single, "Krazee Madeo Stylez". Producer/MC Friz-B deftly lifts portions of Bob James' Rhodes intro to create a loop that is instantly recognizable as "Loran's Dance" yet manipulated enough to make you wonder just where the chop starts and stops. A great example of what we at ROBME like to call complex minimalism. Lyrically, Eb.F and Friz-B trade verses about their home town San Mateo, CA while both DJ Rasta Cue-Tip and DJ Apollo share time on the scratch. Oh from New Medina Project is working on a more in depth Various Blends piece that will be running here in the near future. Stay tuned.

Krazee Madeo Stylez (Baraka Foundation, 1999)

I never really knew very much about City Side Crew other than the obvious fact they were from the Bay and that they eventually released a 2nd 12" that I'm still looking for (is it as good as this one?). Both tracks on this record are dope, but for the sake of this post we'll focus on their ode to the best dankweed in the states, "Kali". While Various Blends pulled back on their copy of "Power of Soul" after a couple bars, City Side Crew was too busy prepping the blunt and didn't notice anything worthy of their sampler till the kali hit their systems about 7 minutes and some change into Idris' jam. Another great exercise in the K.I.S.S. aesthetic, the uncredited producer sticks to the loop and an 808 kit. Perfection.

Kali (Sound Judgment, 1996)


[RS link]

Sunday, December 21, 2008

GRAND INVINCIBLE: PURSE THIEVES 12" OUT NOW

After way too many headaches caused solely by constant fuck ups on the part of the pressing plant, the Grand Invincible "Purse Thieves" 12" is finally done! It contains 3 songs from last year's "Ask the Dust" album plus bonus instrumentals and an accapella. Remember when 12"'s had cool shit for the DJs??? All the tracks can be heard on our myspace page. We have a record release party in SF on January 23 at House of Shields. Strike through if you are in the area. We'll have limited versions of the 12 at the show. For those who can't wait or live out of town, I'm doing some direct mailorder and So Far West also has copies in stock. Anyone who can help with distro, get in touch! We should have em in all the local stores by the end of January. The 2nd album "Cold Hand in the Dice Game" has been mixed by the almighty Hiro Matsuo at the Cornerstore and is awaiting mastering. Expect it's release in early '09.

New mailorder link:

GI WEBSTORE

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CATALYST RECORDS

1976 catalog found in a copy of the Michal Urbaniak Group's "The Beginning" 2xLP.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

ROB ONE MEATS KEISHA

I ripped this tape awhile ago and lagged on putting it up here and then a few weeks ago I saw it up on blog I've been visiting called Recordz On Wheelz. Fuck it. This is my own rip plus I got the fresh cover and label scans. I don't think I really need to type any more about just how dope Rob One was with the conceptual mixtapes. He really kills it here with the porn theme by including photos of his historic meeting of 80's porn icon Keisha, strip club field recordings, stripper drops, various Keisha dialog, etc. I'm more of a Christy Canyon fan myself but regardless of who your favorite star was, Rob's tape will take you back to the days of giant VHS boxes and those huge plastic trays the tapes sat in. Back when if you wanted to get your nut off watching some porn you had to actually put in some work (steal, borrow or actually go to the adult bookstore to cop your shit), instead of logging on and jerking off. From breakbeats to porno, kids today have it too damn easy.
DJ Rob One Meats Keisha

Saturday, November 29, 2008

DJ APOLLO: WEST COAST GANGSTA FUNK

I think I first heard this at a party out in the North Bay. My homies out there always copped all the new mixtapes so every time I would trek up there to paint, I'd bring a few blanks and try to dub a couple while fools were sleeping off the night before. Apollo's "West Coast Gangsta Funk" was one that I was never able to secure a dub of, but knew it very well due to it's constant burn at crew functions. Eventually I stumbled across a copy (complete with the dope ass Dug One j-card) years later at Cue's. To this day I still get pumped hearing Apollo drop E40's "Practice Looking Hard" acapella over the GLP LP intro. That is some bay shit right there.

Side A

Side B

Sunday, November 23, 2008

SOME RE-UPS FOR YOU JUNKIES

Had some downtime this weekend nursing a hangover caused by my participation in Pukefest 2008. Though I didn't puke, I did ingest a large amount of the Blue Bonnet's puke scented draft beers. Either way, here are some Rapidshare links to a few of the more popular downloads we've had up on ROBME. Enjoy and feel free to make requests for any other re-ups you need:

DJ Rip One - Rippin' Shit Up!

DJ B-Mello - Blowin' Up Worldwide Part 1


PF Cuttin' - The 4-Oh

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BIG DADDY: OFF THE ROPES

The "Off The Ropes" compilation CD that came with an issue of the late, great Big Daddy Magazine outta the UK was my intro to the P Brothers. That right there is reason enough to check it out. Speaking of P Brothers and intros, their (exclusive to this release) intro to the CD makes Fat Joe's "Yeah" the warrior call for all swamp dwelling Mantronix drum machines to be hurled through Marshall stacks the world over (check the Roc Marci drop). You would think it would be hard to follow such a bombastic intro (like the Bomb Squad hooking up the intro to a D'Angelo LP), but the crate savvy minds at Big Daddy hand picked some of the tastiest treats they were covering in the accompanying magazine and seasoned them with a liberal dose of UK tunes that were unheard by any of us in the states. The Paul Nice produced Biz Markie track has got to be Biz's best track of the 2K's. Rodney P's "Murderer Style" is like Robitussin drenched dancehall on dust. Shit is evil. Plus you get a bunch of tracks off limited 45's that have come and gone. Big Daddy eventually became Grand Slam which also included some dope CD comps, but died after a short run. Former editor George Mahood now runs the online shop Concourse Records.

Off The Ropes

Sunday, November 16, 2008

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DJ PRINCE ICE?

Here's a nice megamix from 1988 on Megajamm Recordz by the mysterious "DJ Prince Ice". My money's on Prince Ice being fake name so King Tech and his homies (Mark 5 who produced a grip of tracks on Dre Dog's "I Hate You With a Passion" album and Big Ed who has a pretty eclectic resume) wouldn't get sued for pillaging all the tracks necessary to make "Dopemix Vol. 1". What sets this mix apart from other megamixes of the time is the sheer amount of scratching. This ain't no Latin Rascals tape splicing mix here, this is real DJs cutting wax over an unwavering 808 pattern. While it does include many megamix staples "Prince Ice" gets some dirt under his nails dropping snippets of Ice T's "Colors" and G Rap's "Poison". There is a distinct Bay Area sound to this mix that many listeners outside the 415 (I'm talking pre 510) may not catch. File this one next to your Flynamic Force and In-A-Minute Records.

Dopemix Vol. 1

Monday, November 3, 2008

NO LONGER BUILT FOR ZSHARE LINKS

Looks like all the links on here are dead after Zshare's crash a week or so ago. My original plan was to reup all the dead links when we reached 10K hits, but at this point I have neither the time or the patience to re-up the entire blog. If there's a post you missed out on and you want to request a re-up, post a comment and I'll get to those first.

KRS One - Ah Yeah (Diamond D Remix)

Friday, October 24, 2008

ROB ONE TAPS THE FADER ON THE DRUM

Sometimes scrounging up tapes to record radio shows would lead to desperate measures. Spending too long searching for a C-90 could mean the difference between catching a white label pressed in the hundreds or a dope freestyle by some MC you'd never even heard of. So it goes with this tape of Rob One on The Drum. I don't recall the specific night, but I'm sure I heard Kevvy Kev say Rob One just walked into the basement and I frantically grabbed whatever tape was in front of me, stuck it in the deck and hit record. Unfortunately it ended up being some promo tape of some shitty metal band some crap label had sent me. For those not in the loop of the classic "I do a music zine, send me free shit" scam of the 90's, this meant I was dealing with a cassette giving me a meager 30 minutes (if you're lucky) a side. Typing this up is stirring up regret for too many lost tapes with songs I still haven't recovered in years of digging. Who knows where the tape(s) of the rest of this show ended up. But you don't throw away the fossil just because you broke the rock, right? With this view, we present to you a brief excerpt of Rob One's 1997 visit to Kevvy Kev's legendary show. Rob drops then unheard Rakim and Ghostface tracks plus a nice Sunz of Man drop. EB the Lyrical Storm stops by and a then unknown Chali2na starts to bust right when the tape cuts out. Yep, that's just how it goes sometimes. Rob was one of the illest ever to put records to cassette and the flawless mixing on this short bit just hammers it home. Check the fossil.

Rob One on The Drum

Monday, October 20, 2008

THE GRAND AIN’T FORCE UNLESS THE FORCE IS GRAND

I’m pretty sure whoever played the keyboard chimes on the chorus for this one was drunk. That shit is like three-wheel motion on a u-turn, spillin’ So Co and orange Fanta out your Solo cup onto your black Bart Simpson XXXL, trying to re-position your leather Africa medallion over the stain so it doesn't show.

Street Art Records was a subsidiary of Miami’s Hot Productions (Hot Associated Labels) that released only about a dozen records in the late-80’s; its most notable release was probably the first issue of L’Trimm’s 'Cars With The Boom.’ ‘Grand Force b/w Grand Bass’ by Grand Force Posse in 1987 was their first release ever. Welcome to bassland! Sorry about the skip in the second half of the instrumental. You should have seen how warped this plate was! The stylus at Eons’ looked like it was riding the Big Dipper at Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Trust me, you don't need to throw a hissy-fit over this one minor flaw, 'cause every house party I ever went to at least one record skipped, and I'd much rather be listening to this at a house party then on a lonely iPod, sittin' on the train on my way to my dead-end job. So, GET IN THE ZONE, little homies! Like Damone said in
Fast Times, "It's all about the attitude, Rat."

Grand Force Posse - Grand Force


Grand Force Posse - Grand Bass

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TEN G'S TO THE GRAVEYARD

Once a year the Record Man in Redwood City, CA holds his parking lot sale. They set up a bunch of tents and tables and pile boxes filled with tens of thousands of lp's and twelve inches on em. Obviously, shit is a total feeding frenzy and is not for beginners or the faint of heart. It starts at 8, but real junkies are pacing around out front hours before. The only notification for the date of the sale is an email. I sign up for this fucking email every year and I NEVER get it. This year I ended up calling the store to find out the date and wouldn't you fucking know it, I'd already committed to working the night before which meant getting home the day of the sale. FUCK! I tried to get out of it but the best I could do was wake up as early as possible, finish work and get the fuck out! By the time I'd arrived there was a huge group of dudes in crisp New Era's sitting around sorting through all the shit they'd just dug. I went straight for the jazz lp's and all the boxes were half full. Damn. Sometimes you gotta give someone else a chance, right? I did end up scoring some nice stuff after digging for a few hours. My pops showed up and was digging around for awhile.

At one point Jake came up to me with this 12" by DJ Swift & the Mob Boss asked if I knew about it. 93? San Jose, CA? "If you ain't gonna get it I will." Unfortunately for me, I had just sold him on it. What we discovered later over a couple beers and a couple spins is that this self released 12" was like a lost In-A-Minute Records demo. Instantly we were transported back to the days of Totally Insane, R.B.L. Posse, Chunk and the like. The A side is a fast track that mixes Lyn Collins "Think (About It)" with John Carpenter's theme from Halloween that ends up sounding like "It Takes Two" on dust. I guess this was their attempt at a club track, but when Mob Boss says, "I move like a fly and hit hard as a brick" I picture him running into a packed nightclub, hockey mask strapped to the face with the machete swinging (I think I just made it sound better than it really is). But in the tradition of all great rap 12"s, the B side wins again. "What's Really Goin On?" is even more dusted with it's backward snare hits, 808 kicks and an almost megamix style arrangement that uses a grip of familiar samples like Average White Band, Bob Marley, ESG and I swear I can hear "Mardi Gras" being spun backwards underneath it all (could be the dust). DJ Swift sounds like he studied under T.C. around the time of RBL's "A Lesson To Be Learned" and I'm not mad at that. If anyone knows more about this 12" or whatever happened to these cats, leave a comment.


DJ Swift & The Mob Boss - What's Really Goin On?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

RENEGADE THAT'S GETTIN' PAID TO KNOCK YOUR CREW

I mentioned this record in INFLATION OF POCKSECTOMY, so I figured it was only right to let you scabby-headed arcade orphans hear it. I couldn't believe a dude from San Jo got signed to Luke Skyywalker Records back then. This is actually the b-side to the "Just Rock" 12" released in 1987. It was a trip, 2 Live Crew, DJ KJ & MC Kooley C, MC Shy D, LeJuan Love, JDC, Anquette, Ghetto Style DJs, and a gold-and-cameo-cut rockin' G from the eastside of the 408 named M.C. Twist and don't forget the DEF SQUAD. Who would of thunk it? How did his demo get into Luther Campbell's hands back then? I'd love to hear that story. "I Like It Loud" was also on Twist's album, "Comin' Thru Like Warriors" (Skyywalker, 1989). Another 12" off that album was "Shock The House," which gives credibility to my "San Jo's shockin'" commentary from a previous blog. I was never really into the song "Just Rock," but actually my homie DJ Quest has been playing it out lately and when drunk I enjoy it, and enjoy stumping fools when they don't know who it is... got you Brandon B. Also... DJ 2 Fresh used "I Like It Loud" as the intro to his legendary "Human 4-Track" mixtape (soon to be posted here I'm sure).

"Panty-spankin', volume-crankin', so that my cuts... can be heard!" If you'd listen to that MCs of Rap song (below) again, you'll hear them say, "We're not from New York or Northern California," okay maybe they say, "We're not from New York; we're not from California," whatever. It still kinda cosigns the notion (if you squint just right) that heads from Miami were hip to what was up in the Bay even way back then, kinda, right? I mean, it's not like they said L.A. or Philly, so fuck it I'm building on the myth. It WAS literally shocking though back in '87, man. I was still buggin' off how Shy D's "Gotta Be Tough" always got all the girlies to smurf and do the Guess and shit, and then bam! The next thing I find from the Miami label is right in my own backyard. Talk about a trip to the fuckin' brain, ese. How will I laugh tomorrow when I can't even smile today, Mike Muir.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

HEAVY GRIT ON YOUR TURNTABLES

Before he was known for wearing wrestling masks and hanging with Kool Keith, Kutmasta Kurt was known to all real heads in the broadcast range of 90.1 FM KZSU's signal as the man helming the click clack in Kevvy Kev's Drum Posse. I've discussed the importance of these Drum tapes before and I was lucky to recently come across this tape still intact. Kurt kills it during these these 40+ minutes, dropping seldom heard gems like Ghetto Philharmonic's "Don't Bite the Concept", Troubleneck Brothers' "Back to the Hip Hop" and San Jo's own 10Bass T. Kurt also drops live remixes of "Crooklyn" and "Hip Hop vs. Rap". I never had the clear head or fore site to date any of these tapes, but judging by the records Kurt is playing, I'm guessing this is late 1994. Gut a Jewel, set the Wayback Machine for the parking lot of Memorial Hall, 1994 and click the link.

Kutmasta Kurt on The Drum

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

THE GROUND THAT YOU'RE STANDIN' ON NOW BEEN SHOOK

This record is all a soul needs. 808 with liberal use of the signature handclap? Check. Guitar stab to scratch? Check. "Ahh, that stuff is really fresh" scratch? Check. "Catch A Groove" wrap-around cut? Check. And, fuck it, how about a Prince record for the outro? Check. Cut Master Cox had all the necessities and none of the fat when he left the house for Miami's Sound International studios that day way back in, I'm guessing, 1988, '87? Whenever. That accapella cut of the guitar stab right before the end of the song should be in a hall of fame somewhere.

Though Dandy D earned the title-lyric spot for the end of his verse, he really shines when he's backing up Cool C.P.'s verses. His "See it must come down," "middle-aged" and gravely "Nahh--ow" in the first verse alone display harmonious b-boyism at it's finest. A possible predecessor to Eazy E and Ron-De-Vu's duets. Speaking of lyrics: "We came to dominate, to intimidate, so participate, as we illustrate... we're gonna to illa-, partissa-, intima-, and domi- nate... you!" is GENIUS!... if they had used words that actually ended in the "-nate' sound, like say germinate, exterminate, or vaccinate, it would have sucked, but the way they got it is sheer genius! So is naming your label "Rap" Records with a silhouetted Run-DMC logo and calling your group MCs of Rap. That's what I'm fuckin' talkin' about!

Rap Records put out at least 4 other records by MCs of Rap according to Vol. 1 of Freddy Fresh's book, but this one wasn't in it. Once again maybe it came out later than I thought. Shout outs to 2 Live Crew, Ghetto Style DJs, Mantronix, Shy D, Fresh Kid Ice, 139th St. Posse, etc. are kinda sick too. Somebody should cover this pronto, Tonto... jump on it!

MC's of Rap - Domination

MC's of Rap - Domination (inst)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MURDER IS A MISDEMEANOR

"I heard a fool call in the radio today, he said, 'San Jo is shockin'.' You need to get your sister's Rabbit so we can mob to that Rodney O. and Joe Cooley show at Studio 47. Sal's cousin's got some six-by-nines we can put in it." --Frosty C, 1987, Gunn High School, Palo Alto, Calif. And yes, he really did say "shockin'."

First of all, Saturn Records is the shit. This surly L.A. label put out only 22 records from 1983-1988. Chris and Ray's was the second to last one in '88. And although the label's mailing address was Los Angeles, they were def knee-deep in more than a few Nor Cal scenes. From billing The Triple Threat Three as the "Sound Of Sacramento" on their 1984 release "M.P.G. Rap" to shouting out Milpitas, California's Nissan Gang on the circle-label of Ceiliia's (from Manchester, England???) county-fair-hair anthem "Nissan Truckin'" a year later, Saturn made music for mini-truck culture, it's obvious. Their acts played car shows in San Jose back when it was "shockin'", no doubt. When this record came out I was in a rap group called C.O.L.D. (Chemists Of Lyrical Devastation) inspired by Saturn's 1983 release, Ice T's "Cold Wind Madness." My boy Frosty C put me up on it, sayin' "Yo, these fools are from Milpitas, dog. They in a crew that only wears Warriors Starters." I believed that immediately (even though other people said they were from L.A.). Just like an 808, a Run-DMC record, and John William's orchestra in the nimble hands of DJ Ray lend instant credibility to Chris's boasts: "Your response when I rock is, 'My god, he's froze!" In fact, I want to close out by typing out the lyrics of his third verse, because cold-murdering the track used to require an extremely high level of science and sometimes it is necessary to put a microscope on that bitch so you motherfuckers can examine exactly what I mean by that. Errrrrr Rah!

"For years I've kept, while Bo Peep wept,

my girl straight groovin' while Snow White slept
now with a quarter and a duece, I now let loose
helpin' Rocky pull the rabbit without the Moose
got my homeboys wiggin', the girlies' drawers diggin' (or "girlies drugged, diggin' me" both are def)
me
in a party, rock, 'cause the dance-floor's giggin'
Number one, I'm gonna be 'im, a photo mausoleum
My DJ by my side in the Oakland Collesium

See, in Cali they scatter, gettin' madder and madder

with my DJ named Ray choppin' platter after platter

Justa tearin' up halls, rippin' down walls

girls fightin' over me in bathroom stalls
they want the fame the glory the west-side story
not told until now 'cause I felt it mandatory
and to all you wack rappers, and to those who diss
if you never bought a record then boy you'll buy this

oh yeah, I'm packin' for fun, my mic and my gun

Thursday, September 18, 2008

PISSING OFF THE NEIGHBORS WITH HOME BOYS DUB

I live basically on Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California. I am not a student. I've lived in the area practically my whole life. Senior year in high school I worked for the mom and pop grocery store on the corner delivering the butcher's ground beef to local burger joints. My neighbors are grad students with shitty cars and expensive tuitions and without a care in the world but their studies. This is a song I like to crank at four a.m. and play ten times over, just to shake up the monotony of their lives for an hour. It totally fucking works, especially when by about the third play you start drunkenly chanting along to the robot voice acapella that occurs about a third of the way through.
This was the b-side to the "Hey There Homeboys" 12" put out by New York's Sugarscoop label in 1985. In fact, this is the last record Sugarscoop ever put out. So it has that stigma of being the label-killer which in turn manifests itself into a contemplation of suicide when heard by Stanford grad students.
The Dutch disco label Rams Horn also had a 12" release with the exact same tracklisting that same year. Man Parrish double-dipped so to speak. Enjoy making some else's life a little less bearable and a little more Bronx.

Man Parrish - Home Boys Dub

Monday, September 15, 2008

FOUGHT THE COLD AND GENERATED THE WARMF!

Yo, Smooth Triumph up in the bitch, crawling out the depths of a poor ass summer with obscure vinyl nuglettes for the menthol kiddies. I found MC Price and DJ Double Trouble two years ago in the garage of this run down house in Palo Alto that my blackmarket half-ass carpenter friend was remodeling without a contractor's license. It had to get took along with some scratched up as fuck LeJuan Love 12"s. I've never heard of Standin Tuff Records and it wasn't listed in Eons' Freddy Fresh book, but he only has the first edition that doesn't really go past 1990, and this record came out in 1991. MC Price raps that he's from New York, and he's totally got that Rakim-esque flow. On "The Price is Right" he raps the word "earth" exactly how Rakim would, more than once. And on "Story of My Life" he says that school wasn't fun because he had to bring his gun in a sack. All really good shit. I love records like this, where you just can't help getting the feeling like this is the only one they ever made. If I'm wrong someone please correct me. What ever happened to MC Price and DJ Double Trouble?

MC Price & DJ Double Trouble - The Price is Right

MC Price & DJ Double Trouble - Story of My Life

Thursday, September 11, 2008

PF CUTTIN': TAKE A SWIG OF THE 4-OH

Another sure shot from the days when tapes were Kingz. This time from PF Cuttin', best known as the producer/DJ behind Blahzay Blahzay (along with MC Outloud). Their LP is a nice slice of 90's boom bap laced with heady jazz loops and contains their classic "Danger". Here we find PF solo, rocking the 1's and 2's instead of the sampler. It's 1997, you're cutting the current underground staples, there's really no explanation necessary. Some highlights: Sauce Money's "Action", that "Crew Love" track by Tone Hooker (did he ever do another record?), O.C. and Jay-Z (that was a tough record to find), Hurricane G gets a lot of burn, and that Mobb Deep track with DJ Muggs still raise my neckhairs. PF's style always stood out because dude knew how to rock the motherfucking transformer switch and continued to rock it at a time when most DJ's had migrated away from it. My homie Cullen Stalin passed this dub off to me in summer of '97 which is why I don't have a cover scan for it.

NEW LINK

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

DJ B-MELLO: BLOWIN' UP WORLDWIDE

In contrast to the Rip One tape is this 1996 tape from Seattle’s DJ B-Mello. “Blowin’ Up Worldwide Part 1” is more of a live DJ mix style joint. B-Mello drops a lot of the underground staples of the time but does manage to sneak in a few seldom heard, small press treats from Perverted Rhyme Throwa, Constant Deviants, and Rascalz (plus a later Chill Rob G track) . I was surprised how good this tape sounds after years of sliding around under the seat in my truck. They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

As of this writing there have been almost 700 downloads of the Rip One tape I posted last time and only one comment. WTF? If you are enjoying the shit we are sharing or you are reposting the links elsewhere, at least leave a comment. If you have Part 2 leave a comment. We do this for the love, but there is a good amount of work involved. Props are appreciated.

NEW LINK

Friday, August 15, 2008

DJ RIP ONE: RIPPIN SHIT UP AT PRIME TIME

Here's a great example of a 4 track produced, megamix style tape from SoCal's DJ Rip One. Seamless mixes of mid 90's gems with tons of layered scratching. Tapes like these were a labor of love, slaved over for months to turn around and sell a dub for $10. $10, man! This is a Porter-House-with-a-baked-potato-and-steamed-broccoli typa mixtape; cooked up by an inspired DJ dedicated to his craft, not some half assed, money minded freestyle promo cd masquerading as an album. This tape used to get serious burn in my truck and a lot of the tracks on this tape would eventually sound strange to me without hearing Rip's cuts over em. In the late 90's, I marinated a few years of brain cells with couple pounds of blunt stuffing in honor of this particular cassette. Now it's your turn.

NEW LINK

Thursday, August 7, 2008

EAST MEETS WEST LIVE INSIDE THE HEAD OF AN ORIGINAL HEAD

I got a bug up my ass yesterday and started digging through a bag of old tapes. Remember when you used to accumulate tapes to the point where you had a fucking grocery bag full of em? No cases, stickers crossed out. Toilet paper jammed in the tops. My homie Stnko had 2 twelve pack boxes full of tapes stolen out of his car!

Digging through this mess, I found a couple tapes of old Drum shows I taped off KZSU. In the mid 90's if you were living on the Peninsula and into hip hop, at 6pm on a Sunday you were either sitting at home hitting record on your tape deck or bugging your homie to turn off the cd and turn on the radio. The Drum Posse was church and Kevvy Kev was it's preacher. Kev's show shaped the way we all listened to hip hop back then. He was playing most guttural of East Coast indie releases of the time. My friends and I would trade tapes and guesses at what some unknown tracks were. Everyone came through, just listen to the drops. Most of my old tapes of the show got made into pause mixes, erasing the original show tapes, losing the pause mixes, etc. A cycle of analog irresponsibility that would disgust any audiophile.

Here's a tape from 1995 when DJ Eclipse was down at The Drum. I had met Eclipse at Cue's earlier that week. Frank introduced me to him and told me to hang out because this dude had all the crazy new underground NY shit. He had a crazy embroidered NAS sweatshirt and dropped shit like Dark Skinned Assassin "The Horror", Ill Bill "Dopefiend", and bunch of shit I have no idea what the fuck it was. The level of Bronx in the building overwhelmed me. Totally blown. And then, to tune into The Drum and get to tape a grip of em. I even got a shout out at the end (What up, Eider?). Unfortunately, this was the only portion of the show that survived. Thanks Kev!

Hit record!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

EXPLORING AREA CODES

I usually don’t follow what’s going on at Stones Throw that much these days. Too many Madlib remixes, too much Dilla beat recycling, etc. But after clicking a link on Whatupthough to check out the ridiculous Madvillian remix/reissue, I spotted their latest podcast – a PBWolf mix of early hip hop that is NOT from NY. “Hear No Evil” already covered NY, so PBWolf delves waaay deeper into the crates to bring you gems like Mr. Fresh and Master TMD from Oakland and Junior Cardone and Chris Cut from San Jose. And unlike Ivory’s mix, you get a tracklist. Peep it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

MY DIRTY UNDIES, MY FUCKING WHITES

It's been a minute, time to do some laundry. Smooth Triumph hooked up this dope ass Gurp City instore at Rasputin's in Mountain View on August 22nd. If you are in the area be sure to juice up your ultras and strike through. Big ups Matt Loomis who killed it with the flier.
We've also been busy putting together the Grand Invincible - Purse Thieves b/w Elephant Tranq 12" which will be the first music release from the Zero Friends collective. Props to Lord Quake for making it happen. Stay tuned.
My boy Imhotep started a new blog geared towards the loud and ugly side of punk rock, hardcore, metal and lo-fi weirdness. Peep Mummified Transmissions.

Smooth Triumph and I have some good eats stewing in the olde dusty crockpot but you know how long those things take to cook shit. That's right, we're moving at the speed of a crockpot. Our gravy moves 1/4" a day. Sure you have to wait, but this shit is gonna stick to your ribs when it's done.

Ripped Open Mixtape #2


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

P.D.F. CREW: SWEATIN' JAMES IN THE DESERT LANDS OF ARIZONA

I've been wanting to post this record ever since I came up on it at one of the last SF Bay Area thrifts worth visiting (FYI: no thrifts on the Peninsula have records, waste of time, save your gas, seriously), but I've had a hard as fuck time finding any info out about it. So I ventured out of my record nerd cocoon and hit up some folks with ties closer to the situation at hand.

First, I asked veteran AZ MC Brandon B if he'd ever heard of it. He said no, but threw one right back at me and asked if I'd heard of Killer Pussy from Phoenix. I hadn't. The score was tied at nothing, however thanks to Brandon B I was able to finally hear "Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage". I think I win.

Then I hit Z-Trip up to see if he had a spare moment to reach back into his 1989 record acquisition brain wrinkle and help me out with some info. His response:

From: Z-TRIP
Date: Mar 16, 2008 5:06 AM

Pure De Fresh.
One of the first Hip hop 12"'s to come out of AZ that I know of.
Got both of the pressings... they did 2 of the same 12"... slightly different mixes...
"Drop the Bass" and "Do It"
Produced by Felipe "Wax Dawg" Delgado.. Same dude who did the Ce Ce Penniston joint "Finally"...
I believe one of the dudes went to Deer Valley High School.
I know a bit more about it, but need to look at the wax to jar the memory bank.

Z

He also confirmed that the copy I have is the 2nd pressing (someone tell Freddy Fresh!) and is apparently the 2nd and final release on Cali's West Coast Wax label (the first being a compilation mixed by Joe Cooley). Either way, Felipe the Wax Dawg (now crafting joints under the name Wax Swagga) was on some dehydrated Paul C with an 808 in the bota bag blasting Public Enemy on his walkman with the the orange foam ear cushions type shit. James Brown loops? Check. Relentless scratching? Check. Don't even mind the rapping, just make sure the Starter is fully zipped so you can do the James till you sweat yourself into kidney failure.

P.D.F. Crew "Drop The Bass" 12", West Coast Wax, 1989

Do It

Do It (Inst)

Drop The Bass

Drop The Bass (Inst)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

ED209: ON A GREY PAD SCIENCE MISSION, FLIPPIN

A month or so ago I visited the P Brothers Myspace page to hear some of the new tracks they had posted. While I was nodding to the heavy battery they are famous for, I noticed one of their top friends looked like they had a record coming out with former Iron Shiek QB MC Imam Thug. I clicked on the profile and "Karma 360" began booming through the speakers. This was my introduction to Ed209. Ed209's productions are hip hop in the purest form; never afraid to loop a breakbeat in favor of programming drums with a Just Blaze sample disc from eBay, nor is he afraid to rock the famous Dynamic Corvette's stab one more time just one more time to make sure we haven't all fallen asleep. For these small details I applaud Mr. 209.

What was the first record you heard or bought that got you hooked on this rap shit?


At school it was all about the Streetsounds Electro series of LPs ... that was the genesis - it just sounded unlike anything we'd heard - the idea of ELECTRO sync'd perfectly with being from the Star Wars generation. Robots. Electric. Those LPs just brought out so many artists to us - tunes like Bambaataa's Theme to things like Let the music play by Shannon - or The B-Boys, or or or, god ... so so many - 'Style' by Melle Mel & Furious was the first rap I learnt to battle in the playground. I remember buying the tape of 'Stepping off' - Melle Mel & Furious 5 as like my first 'original' hip hop tape ( we dubbed and shared so many tapes ) and getting some lino left over from my Mums kitchen floor and trying to break - School Daze!


How did you get into making beats? What gear did you originally start out with?

Around the 2000 timeframe Ivory (P Brothers) said I should come round and check out this machine he got that went B-B-B KAAA B B KAAA B-B-B KAAA KREEEN KREEEEEN KREEEENN ( or similar ) and it was an MPC2000XL and it was game over. He said I'd have to get one and he was dead right. My wife got the spec from Iv. and got me one for my 31st birthday and I jumped on the bed like a trout heading upstream. It was time to stop moaning that the golden 90s were over and start working on home grown science. I used to mess about with this app. called SoundEdit on my Mac to make beats but it was just all wrong. I worked on computers all day - the last thing I wanted was to be on them at night. The MPC was just made to make the sound I wanted. To me the MPC IS 'an instrument' because as it is limited - you explore within those limitations. Computers are tools with myriad possibilities - its different.
What equipment are you currently using?

That same Akai MPC Grey Pad science kit - its fading but still strong - 2 x Technics and never enough vinyl + a Mac Laptop to record. Thats all. Keep it simple.


When you start putting a track together, what the comes first? Drums? Loop? Or do you just say, "Fuck it!"


Either. Neither. Both. I have no science to this other than 'I'm playing the thing I have brought / found / been given / picked up and I'm hearing drums / samples and I'm away' Just listening to music is the start. I make loads of 'starts' but give up if its not doing it. The UN LP really set a level for me of how good something should be - I have said that if I had made Game of Death or What they want or Golden Grail I would have cut my hands off... they are just THAT good. That is how good I want to be. Scratchy emotional loops over the heaviest drums.


One thing I noticed when listening to your stuff is that you use a lot of drum loops
instead of programming single hits. I love it, no one is really doing that anymore.

Its not conscious, as in 'I WILL use drum loops to be different' - I just have something in my mind that tells me if it sounds right and I try and arrive at that pretty fast when making a beat - so loops get there faster - it may be imperfect but if its got the right vibe I will spend time to perfect it - chop the beat and re-record it all or just leave it and knock off the roughness... whatever. I read a quote the other day that the problem today is that people have too much time to make beats - it might have been Hank Shocklee - it might have been on your myspace! I try and set a deadline both in 'time' and 'financially' with studio time. I've only had to go back to the studio twice to re-do a track 'cause it wasn't 'right'. If somethings worth doing then its worth not overdoing.


What inspired the creation of Voodoo Rhythm Devils Records and the Super Exstatic 12"
triology?

The P Brothers. Ivory & Paul S. Everything that has happened with VRD and the Exstatic Trilogy was made possible by what they did with The Heavy Bronx Experience EPs. They joined the dots and I followed the line. Maximum Respect. Also I felt compelled to give something back to a world that has given me so much pleasure on many different levels. Thats Hip Hop by the way ... not food. But I do love food.
How did the Imam Thug project come about?

Paul S & Ivory again. I played them the beat and their reaction amped me to take it fwd. They flowed the QB Connex. Like scientists they analyzed what I did and made suggestions to make it sound on point. Maximum Support from The Baron & Moe Brandy.
The beat got hatched on my birthday last year - I'd had a night of wind, water and fire and then some burning trees and just before passing out brought out some Issac to end the evening. In that special place before sleep I heard the loop. Tried to make it work - lost the plot and ended up switching it off. Then tried again the next night and made it happen. When I got the beat at Imam his reply was a simple 'ITS BANGIN SON - LETS DO THIS' and it was on. The pattern is like some 5 bar / 2 bar loop and mixing it was hard. Gotta thank Mr Mark Gamble for not giving up. He's the wizard.

Any plans to do more records with MC's from the States?


Absolutely. Working with MC's I knew from the UK like Kon, Cappo and C-Mone it was a question of 'I'm trying to put out something to rep. me & you and I have a tight budget - what can I do for you in return?' - like with Cappo I did design work for him like the 'Spaz The World' cover + paid him what I could. With Kon I brought him Sushi. With Imam it was ( to me ) serious money to get him on the track - but the opportunity was something I could not let slide. It had to happen - I was addicted to Iron Shieks. I'd love to work with Imam again, Roc Marciano, Killa Sha, Tragedy and Ghostface. The Symphony 2010 with all them on - thats my goal.


Awhile back I sent an email to the P Brothers saying that they need better distribution in the US and they wrote back saying "it's kind of nice to stay under the radar". You're pressing 500 copies of the Imam joint. Are you subscribing to the same philosophy?

I'm doing what I can afford combined with what I think I can sell! The audience for vinyl is dwindling man and the audience for the sound I'm trying to get at is smaller, and tapping the avenues to get that heard by those people is another layer... so thats like filters on top of filters. To me I don't OWN music unless its on vinyl but people are happy with the new formats - CDs just die so fast and MP3s are a 'crash' away from the void. The way I used to get introduced to music actually focused you more on LOVING that track. Hearing it on some scratchy tape on some wack car stereo ... getting a copy of that tape ... playing it again and again ... hunting for that records within your physical travel limitations ( no internet / no ebay ) EVENTUALLY finding it and just feeling like you had achieved something through the act of searching because you had got OBSESSED with finding it. I remember living in a city called Coventry where I met Ivory - coming to Leicester to buy hip hop and literally running up the street trying to trip/kil/maim the other person to get to the shop first. Ivory gives no quarter in the battle for hip hop! I guess thats another reason to keep the vinyl runs small - thanks to the web its pretty straight forward to find a new record and buy it if you want - but the idea that theres only 500 makes it that bit more special in this era of MASS production. Thats why I designed and printed posters for the first 3 EPs - to make it something special on different levels. I'm not in this for Fame and Fortune - I work to pay my bills and feed my family. I make music I want to hear primarily for myself and a small group of people I have met who hear what I hear. I've said before that I'd rather give records away to those people that are really feeling what I'm trying to do than sell them to anyone. Getting a sincere shout from someone is worth more than your £5/$9 or whatever. Like Ryan Proctor's review for my last EP - I just buzzed off those words - the last line said 'HIP HOP LIVES!' thats golden. There's a UK group from the old school you must know... Hijack - they said it best... "Money ain't the matter, its the PRINCIPLE that makes us invincible" The principle to me is to keep 'that sound' alive.

When you're out digging in the field, what are some of the labels you keep an eye out for?

Well since having 2 kids my funds for vinyl missions are less - I've started going through the things I have a lot more, but, to be honest, these next two questions are getting into my comfort zone - I really can't say much - not for reasons of anal collector-ness but more for reasons of being schooled by people who have put in major work and passed that knowledge on. I don't want to go anywhere near betraying that trust - like stuff I have three copies of that I'd love to sell on e-bay or whatever - it can't be done. Sorry.


Your top 10 breakbeats:


Those that would tell don't know.
Those that know aren't telling.

What's up next for Ed209?


Bed.
Shouts to The P Brothers, Imam (for sick sick verses ), Ryan P, Luke, Ade, Disorda, Cro, Sarah Love (for rocking Black Thorn Rose on her show) and Mr Jago. Love to Ju-Tang, Iz the Wiz and Madz the Tihs Stayup Mr Eons.

Ed209 Myspace

Superexstatic

Some joints from the Superexstatic series:

Welcome To The City (feat. eyesofman)

Bazzar Bomberz (feat A-Bomb, Konny Kon, Cappo & eyesofman)

88 Burner (feat eyesofman & A-Bomb)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

EXCUSES & MIXTAPES

Count me among the worst bloggers ever. I'll get pumped up on working on new posts and then spazz out and drop a bunch one month only to not post for an entire month. I haven't really had much time to work on this thing since I've been dwellin' in the lab whenever I'm not at work. Making music is more fun than writing about it, right? Got some new Grand Invincible joints on the way and some new posts that are already in the oven. Up next: Ed209 interview. Stay tuned. In the meantime, check out this dope virtual mixtape site. Here's mine:

Ripped Open Mixtape #1

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA: LIKE PLIERS ON YOUR NUTS


I remember one night my homie Stinkweed and I were sitting out in front of KFJC, listening to one of his skitzo pause mixtapes on his old doombox (if you've heard, you know), getting faded when the intro to the Blahzay Blahzay LP came on. We used to bug out on how dope that loop was and wondered why the fuck Outloud just talked over such an ill sample. Gary from Noothgrush popped out of the studio and said, "Wow, these guys sampled Mahavishnu Orchestra?" and we were like, "Maha-whatta-WHAT?!?"

Blahzay Blahzay - Intro (Blah, Blah, Blah, Fader, 1996)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

SURVIVALIST, BASING MY LIFE ON RAP LOOT

This has always been one of my favorite Tragedy verses since I first heard it on Stretch Armstrong and DJ EV's classic "Back 2 Back" mixtape. You can't really go wrong when the Foul Mahdi teams up with the soul brother Pete Rock to give a state of the union address on the hip hop industry in the late 90's. There was a slightly different version on "Soul Survivor" with additional verses by Cappadonna and Sticky Fingaz, but I've always preferred this one (who's the last MC on this version?). Fucking Pete Rock, man. Dude takes the very last couple of seconds of David Axelrod's "Smile" (as it's fading out, no less) and comes up with this. "Awake to harps and flutes and eat strange fruits."

Tragedy Khadafi, Pete Rock & ??? - Strange Fruit (white label version)

FREE TRAG!