A big thank you to my good friends over at Liquid Beat Records for sending over their latest offering on 45. Being already familiar with the top quality of the labels back catalog, I knew before the needle even hit the grooves that this release was going to be something special. The cover art alone is beautifully designed adorned with some lovely black and white photos of what looks to be an extraordinarily minimal home studio set up - a sign for what is to be contained with perhaps? The production definitely follows through on the sparse motifs, with Portland resident DaiN providing up with some serious head nodding material. This is Hip Hop production in that laid back west coast dillaesque lane but with that heavy east coast dankness.
We get two songs on here, a taster of DaiN's further output which is available through the redeeming of a code provided with the 45 that unlocks digital recordings of five songs in total - All of which are just beautifully crafted, and carry an easily identifiable signature sound: The kick drums kick, the snare drum snaps, stripped back melodic keys provide a layer of viscous soul that drips tantalizingly between each hit and provides a sound bed for the vocalists.
..and let's talk about the vocalists for a minute. On the 45 we are served up sultry vocals from Moniquea (sounding somewhat like a late eighties Janet Jackson), whilst on the flip Malice and Mario Sweet grace the beats with soulful harmonies. There are no raps on the 45, but we do get some on the digital track "All's Calm" from Black Spade, and emcee I'm not familiar with but keen to hear more of. That east coast dankness I mentioned earlier? You get that right here in droves and it's serious business.
There's a new label in town and it's been making lots of noise of recent. The team at Dinked records aren't new to this. They have been around the block and back a few times, and have had lots of experience in putting out records with previous projects - and the expertise definitely shows with this series of fantastic releases. It's worth mentioning that these are all legitimate reissues fully licensed through their respective publishers. Some of these have never had a previous releases on 45 - And for those tracks that have had a 45 release, you would definitely be hard pressed to turn up an original 45 in the field - So for most collectors these beautifully executed releases should suffice.
What we have here is a series of six releases. The first half comprise of some heavyweight soul funk anthems, and the later half give us three classic hip hop tunes. let's look at them in more detail:
There is a new blog in town. If collecting Hip hop 45's is your thing, then you might want to check out http://hiphop45s.com where I'm collating a bunch of fresh new releases on the 45s tip tailored towards the Hip Hop deejay. There's a facebook group as well, which has kind of blown up in the last seven days with a bunch of great collectors from all around the world showcasing their incredible collections. It's amazing to see what got released as seven inch single over the years.
With my fiorthcoming trip to Brisbane on the Horizon, my good friend DJ Katch asked me to pick five tracks from the 80s. Now, considering I'm a huge eighties Hip hop fan this was an incredibly hard choice. That decade turned out so many classic joints that I couldn't even begin to pick my top five. So instead, here are five joints that I undoutedlly love. Are they my favourites? Well, they are somewhere in my top fifty from the decade.
DJ Ease from Nightmares On Wax was recently in Australia, so we took a few minutes to connect and have a chat about the glory days of growing up in Leeds, England right at the time when Hip Hop culture had jumped over the pond. Ease goes into detail about his first crew, the early rave scene, and how Ibiza (His current home) has changed over the years. We also get geeky and drop some studio tech knowledge, and of course hear a few snippets from his extensive back catalog of releases.
I recently put together an exclusive 25 minute mix for the fam at Def Choonz Radio, which broadcasts around Sydney every Monday night at 7pm on 2RDJ. The radio show is a great supporter of local artists, and I was quite honored to be asked. I took the opportunity to do more of an open format cut up style, flipping between Hip Hop classic, R&B joints, Pop, and Trap at a rapid pace with a bunch of doubles, acapellas, and loops - even Phil Collins gets a spin. Enjoy..
Any working DJ who has been using either Traktor or Serato for a long period of time will be familiar with the chore of managing your playlists. Digital crates can quickly become unwieldly and cumbersome as they fill up with new music, often at the cost of not knowing where your music is stored when you need to play it. Over the last several years I've been perfecting my own digital music managment pipeline. It works well for me, and is compatible with both Traktor and Serato. My laptop has both installed, and my crates remain identical in both platforms.
Istanbul is an amazing city with a long musical heritage, and the serious record collector will find a lot of stores to keep you on your feet for a few days. For a city that straddles two continents you will find a vast variety of music - and of course a lot of local Turkish music. A word of advice for those who are looking for local sounds: Bring a portable record player (I didn't). Many of the stores don't have listening stations, and the vast collections of local Turkish music can be quite overwhelming if you don't know what you are looking for. For me it felt like a bit of a lost opportunity as I am not as familiar with Turkish music as I'd like to be. I certainly came away with a few local pieces, but much of the time I was at the mercy of what the store keeper could recommend based on the vague musical descriptions I would give them. I also found that the local music seemed to be considerably higher in price - even for beat up skated pieces.
As part of the 45 RPM tour I recently visited the Empire State New York to spin a few 45s, and of course fit in a bit of record shopping. First stop was out in Brooklyn to play at the Bionic Boogie Sessions, run by my man Cam Run, an ex-pat Australian who is now doing big things in NY. He runs a great weekly spot that caters for anyone into good music - with a host of visiting Aussie's either behind or infront of the turntables to make you feel right at home.